NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Fitch Ratings has assigned the following rating and Rating Outlook to Sound Point CLO XIV, Ltd./LLC:
--$451,500,000 class A notes 'AAAsf'; Outlook Stable.
Fitch does not rate the class B-1, B-2, C, D or E notes or the subordinated notes.
Sound Point CLO XIV, Ltd. (the issuer) and Sound Point CLO XIV, LLC (the co-issuer) comprise an arbitrage cash flow collateralized loan obligation (CLO) managed by Sound Point Capital Management, LP. Net proceeds from the issuance of the secured and subordinated notes will be used to purchase a portfolio of $700 million of primarily senior secured leveraged loans. The CLO will have an approximately four-year reinvestment period and two-year noncall period.
KEY RATING DRIVERS
Sufficient Credit Enhancement: Credit enhancement (CE) of 35.5% for class A notes, in addition to excess spread, is sufficient to protect against portfolio default and recovery rate projections in a 'AAAsf' stress scenario. The degree of CE available to class A notes is below the average CE of recent 'AAAsf' CLO notes; however, cash flow modeling indicates performance in line with other Fitch-rated 'AAAsf' CLO notes.
'B+' Asset Quality: The average credit quality of the indicative portfolio is 'B+', which is a relatively higher average credit quality than recent CLOs, where the average credit quality is typically closer to 'B'. Issuers rated in the 'B' rating category denote a highly speculative credit quality; however, in Fitch's opinion, class A notes are unlikely to be affected by the foreseeable level of defaults. Class A notes are projected to be able to withstand default rates of up to 63.6%.
Strong Recovery Expectations: The indicative portfolio consists of 98.7% first lien senior secured loans. Approximately 92.4% of the indicative portfolio has strong recovery prospects or a Fitch-assigned Recovery Rating of 'RR2' or higher and the base case recovery assumption is 81.1%. In determining the notes' ratings, Fitch stressed the indicative portfolio by assuming a higher portfolio concentration of assets with lower recovery prospects and further reduced recovery assumptions for higher rating stresses, resulting in a 39.6% recovery rate in Fitch's 'AAAsf' scenario.
Fitch evaluated the class A notes' sensitivity to the potential variability of key model assumptions, including decreases in recovery rates and increases in default rates or correlation. Fitch expects the class A notes to remain investment grade, even under the most extreme sensitivity scenarios. Results under these sensitivity scenarios ranged between 'AA-sf' and 'AAAsf' for the class A notes.
USE OF THIRD-PARTY DUE DILIGENCE PURSUANT TO SEC RULE 17G-10
Form ABS Due Diligence-15E was not provided to, or reviewed by, Fitch in relation to this rating action.
REPRESENTATIONS, WARRANTIES AND ENFORCEMENT MECHANISMS
A description of the transaction's representations, warranties and enforcement mechanisms (RW&Es) that are disclosed in the offering document and which relate to the underlying asset pool was not prepared for this transaction. Offering documents for U.S. CLO transactions do not typically include RW&Es that are available to investors and that relate to the asset pool underlying the security. Therefore, Fitch credit reports for U.S. CLO transactions will not typically include descriptions of RW&Es. For further information, please see Fitch's Special Report titled 'Representations, Warranties and Enforcement Mechanisms in Global Structured Finance Transactions,' dated May 31, 2016.
Sources of Information:
The information used to assess this rating was provided by the arranger (Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC) and the public domain.
Additional information is available at www.fitchratings.com.
Counterparty Criteria for Structured Finance and Covered Bonds (pub. 01 Sep 2016)
Criteria for Interest Rate Stresses in Structured Finance Transactions and Covered Bonds (pub. 26 Oct 2016)
Global Rating Criteria for CLOs and Corporate CDOs (pub. 09 Sep 2016)
Global Structured Finance Rating Criteria (pub. 27 Jun 2016)
Dodd-Frank Rating Information Disclosure Form
Copyright (c) 2016 by Fitch Ratings, Inc., Fitch Ratings Ltd. and its subsidiaries. 33 Whitehall Street, NY, NY 10004. Telephone: 1-800-753-4824, (212) 908-0500. Fax: (212) 480-4435. Reproduction or retransmission in whole or in part is prohibited except by permission. All rights reserved. In issuing and maintaining its ratings and in making other reports (including forecast information), Fitch relies on factual information it receives from issuers and underwriters and from other sources Fitch believes to be credible. Fitch conducts a reasonable investigation of the factual information relied upon by it in accordance with its ratings methodology, and obtains reasonable verification of that information from independent sources, to the extent such sources are available for a given security or in a given jurisdiction. The manner of Fitch's factual investigation and the scope of the third-party verification it obtains will vary depending on the nature of the rated security and its issuer, the requirements and practices in the jurisdiction in which the rated security is offered and sold and/or the issuer is located, the availability and nature of relevant public information, access to the management of the issuer and its advisers, the availability of pre-existing third-party verifications such as audit reports, agreed-upon procedures letters, appraisals, actuarial reports, engineering reports, legal opinions and other reports provided by third parties, the availability of independent and competent third- party verification sources with respect to the particular security or in the particular jurisdiction of the issuer, and a variety of other factors. Users of Fitch's ratings and reports should understand that neither an enhanced factual investigation nor any third-party verification can ensure that all of the information Fitch relies on in connection with a rating or a report will be accurate and complete. Ultimately, the issuer and its advisers are responsible for the accuracy of the information they provide to Fitch and to the market in offering documents and other reports. In issuing its ratings and its reports, Fitch must rely on the work of experts, including independent auditors with respect to financial statements and attorneys with respect to legal and tax matters. Further, ratings and forecasts of financial and other information are inherently forward-looking and embody assumptions and predictions about future events that by their nature cannot be verified as facts. As a result, despite any verification of current facts, ratings and forecasts can be affected by future events or conditions that were not anticipated at the time a rating or forecast was issued or affirmed.
The information in this report is provided "as is" without any representation or warranty of any kind, and Fitch does not represent or warrant that the report or any of its contents will meet any of the requirements of a recipient of the report. A Fitch rating is an opinion as to the creditworthiness of a security. This opinion and reports made by Fitch are based on established criteria and methodologies that Fitch is continuously evaluating and updating. Therefore, ratings and reports are the collective work product of Fitch and no individual, or group of individuals, is solely responsible for a rating or a report. The rating does not address the risk of loss due to risks other than credit risk, unless such risk is specifically mentioned. Fitch is not engaged in the offer or sale of any security. All Fitch reports have shared authorship. Individuals identified in a Fitch report were involved in, but are not solely responsible for, the opinions stated therein. The individuals are named for contact purposes only. A report providing a Fitch rating is neither a prospectus nor a substitute for the information assembled, verified and presented to investors by the issuer and its agents in connection with the sale of the securities. Ratings may be changed or withdrawn at any time for any reason in the sole discretion of Fitch. Fitch does not provide investment advice of any sort. Ratings are not a recommendation to buy, sell, or hold any security. Ratings do not comment on the adequacy of market price, the suitability of any security for a particular investor, or the tax-exempt nature or taxability of payments made in respect to any security. Fitch receives fees from issuers, insurers, guarantors, other obligors, and underwriters for rating securities. Such fees generally vary from US$1,000 to US$750,000 (or the applicable currency equivalent) per issue. In certain cases, Fitch will rate all or a number of issues issued by a particular issuer, or insured or guaranteed by a particular insurer or guarantor, for a single annual fee. Such fees are expected to vary from US$10,000 to US$1,500,000 (or the applicable currency equivalent). The assignment, publication, or dissemination of a rating by Fitch shall not constitute a consent by Fitch to use its name as an expert in connection with any registration statement filed under the United States securities laws, the Financial Services and Markets Act of 2000 of the United Kingdom, or the securities laws of any particular jurisdiction. Due to the relative efficiency of electronic publishing and distribution, Fitch research may be available to electronic subscribers up to three days earlier than to print subscribers.
For Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan and South Korea only: Fitch Australia Pty Ltd holds an Australian financial services license (AFS license no. 337123) which authorizes it to provide credit ratings to wholesale clients only. Credit ratings information published by Fitch is not intended to be used by persons who are retail clients within the meaning of the Corporations Act 2001.