Chicago.- Fitch Ratings ratificó las calificaciones de incumplimiento de emisor (IDR) de largo plazo en moneda local y extranjera de Consorcio Transmantaro S.A. (CTM) en ‘BBB’.
La perspectiva de la calificación es estable. La acción de calificación afecta USD1.05 mil millones de deuda senior no garantizada en circulación.
Las calificaciones reflejan los flujos de efectivo estables y predecibles de la compañía, el riesgo regulatorio moderado a bajo y las expectativas de Fitch de que la compañía mantendrá una estructura de capital adecuada, con un apalancamiento de 5.0x-6.0x en el mediano plazo.
Las calificaciones también reflejan el respaldo implícito de los accionistas de CTM, que apoyaron a la empresa a través de préstamos intercompañías subordinados y ofrecieron apoyo directo para el desarrollo del proyecto.
Los flujos de efectivo de CTM fueron extremadamente resistentes durante el bloqueo en Perú relacionado con la pandemia mundial de coronavirus respaldado por las tarifas fijas de transmisión y la sólida base de clientes.
La estructura de ingresos se ve afectada principalmente por la disponibilidad de activos de transmisión de energía y solo un pequeño componente para los clientes regulados está vinculado al riesgo de volumen.
Fitch espera que el efecto de la pandemia siga siendo limitado, incluida la ausencia de multas por retrasos en la construcción y requisitos limitados de capital de trabajo.
Fitch Affirms Consorcio Transmantaro’s IDR at ‘BBB’; Outlook Stable
Fitch Ratings – Chicago: Fitch Ratings has affirmed Consorcio Transmantaro S.A.’s (CTM) Long-Term Foreign and Local Currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) at ‘BBB’. The Rating Outlook is Stable. The rating action affects USD1.05 billion of senior unsecured debt outstanding.
The ratings reflect the company’s stable and predictable cash flows, moderate to low regulatory risk and Fitch’s expectations that the company will sustain an adequate capital structure, with leverage at 5.0x-6.0x in the medium term. The ratings also reflect implicit backing from CTM’s shareholders, which supported the company through subordinated intercompany loans and offered direct support for project development.
CTM’s cash flows was extremely resilient during the lockdown in Peru related to the global coronavirus pandemic supported by the fixed transmission fees and strong client base. Revenue structure is mainly affected by the availability of power transmission assets, and only a small component for regulated clients is linked to volume risk. Fitch expects the pandemic’s effect to remain limited, including no penalty incurrence on construction delays and limited working capital requirements.
Key Rating Drivers
Stable and Predictable Cash Flow: CTM’s ratings reflect the company’s stable and predictable cash flow, derived from fixed revenues and pass-through costs, which is characteristic of electricity transmission companies. The company operates 17 concessions granted by the Peruvian government and 13 private contracts. The Main Transmission System concession is the first to expire, in 2031. CTM is minimally exposed to volume risk, as revenue mostly depends on the availability of transmission lines. The company has registered an availability rate above 99.6% in the last five years. The company earns a rate of return of 12.0% of the replacement value of its investment in the regulated transmission assets and a fixed amount to cover operation and maintenance expenses.
Leverage Driven by Capex Requirements: Fitch expects CTM’s leverage to peak around 5.7x in 2021 before returning to 4.3x in 2023, which is commensurate with the assigned rating after expansionary capex, especially those related to Coya-Yana transmission asset. Adjusted Ebitda including interest received from private contracts is expected to increase as new lines become operational. The company generated Ebitda of USD187 million in 2020 and total debt was USD1.1 billion, with debt/Ebitda at 5.8x.
Moderate to Low Regulatory Risk: CTM’s regulatory risk, stemming from revenue exposure to potential changes in regulated tariffs, is considered low and supportive of the investment-grade rating. The regulator has a record of neutral tariff revisions, and transmission-associated costs account for a small proportion of total electricity costs to end users. A portion of CTM’s revenue is subject to annual regulatory review and only the main concession, the Mantaro-Socabaya Transmission Line, was granted under a regulatory program, allowing the Peruvian government to reduce the underlying annuity of this concession.
Strategic Importance for Peru: CTM is strategically important for the country’s electricity system, as its assets are the main transmission line of the Sistema Electrico Interconectado Nacional (Sein) and it has a strong market position to continue to expand. The Sein serves almost all of the country’s population. CTM has an approximately 38% market share based on revenue; it and sister companies Red de Energia del Peru S.A. and Interconexion Electrica ISA Peru S.A. account for approximately 71% of the transmission market in Peru.
Weak Linkage with Parent: CTM’s ratings are derived on a standalone basis and do not benefit from those of its shareholders as shareholder support is considered weak. Legal ties are weak as there are no guarantees and no cross default on CTM and its shareholders financial obligations. Strategic ties are also weak, as CTM represents only around 12% of Interconexion Electrica S.A. E.S.P.’s (ISA, BBB+/Negative) EBITDA and therefore doesn’t provide a material competitive advantage to the parent. Operational ties are also weak as avoidance cost of the subsidiary’s operational benefits to the parent are not material. CTM is 60% owned ISA and 40% by Grupo Energia Bogota S.A. E.S.P. (BBB/Stable).
CTM’s credit profile is similar to other Latin American transmission companies such as ISA, Transelec S.A. (BBB/Stable) and Transmissora Alianca de Energia Eletrica S.A. (Taesa; BB/Negative) due to their low business risk profiles and predictable cash flow structure not exposed to volumetric risk. ISA is rated one notch above CTM due to a more robust capital structure. Its leverage has historically been 3.5x-4.5x, compared with 5.0x-6.0x for CTM. ISA also has a larger scale and more geographically diversified operations. Transelec’s rating is identical to CTM’s. Both are expected to continue to operate at similar leverage ratios. Taesa is rated three notches below CTM because its ratings are negatively affected by Brazil’s Country Ceiling of ‘BB’, despite operating at significantly lower leverage at 2.5x-3.0x in the previous three years.
Fitch’s Key Assumptions Within Our Rating Case for the Issuer Include
–Annual capex declining from USD170 million in 2021 to maintenance level;
–Annual dividends averaging USD74 million in the next four years;
–Rate of return for MTS remains unchanged at 12% of the replacement value of investments;
–MTS Concession contract will be renewed after 2031.