DBRS Ratings GmbH (DBRS) confirmed its rating of BB (high) (sf) to the Series 147 Fixed to Floating Rate Instruments due 2024 (the Notes) issued by Palladium Securities 1 S.A. acting in relation to Compartment 147-2014-22 (the Issuer).
The confirmation follows an annual review of the transaction.
The Issuer is a public limited liability company (société anonyme) incorporated under the laws of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. The transaction is a credit-linked note of two corporate fixed-rate bonds (the Collateral). The Collateral comprises 28.3 million euro-denominated bonds issued by Assicurazioni Generali S.p.A. (5.125% bonds due 16 September 2024; ISIN: XS0452314536) and 22.15 million British pound-denominated bonds issued by ENEL Finance International NV (5.625% bonds due 14 August 2024; ISIN: XS0452188054), which together represent the full issue amount of the Palladium Series 147 Notes EUR 56.6 million. The noteholders and other transaction counterparties have recourse only to the assets in Compartment 147-2014-22, in accordance with Luxembourg law.
The transaction uses an asset swap to transform the payout profile of the collateral security. The noteholders are effectively exposed to the risk that either of the two bonds that constitute the Collateral or the Hedging Counterparty defaults. The transaction documents do not contain any downgrade provisions with respect to the Hedging Counterparty. As such, DBRS considers the Notes to be also exposed to the risk of default of the Hedging Counterparty. Deutsche Bank AG, London Branch acts as the Hedging Counterparty.
Under the asset swap:
-- The Hedging Counterparty sells the par amount of EUR 56.6 million of the Collateral (28.3 million euro-denominated bonds issued by Assicurazioni Generali S.p.A. and 22.15 million British pounds-denominated bonds issued by ENEL Finance International NV) to the Issuer and received a payment on 10 February 2015 (the Trade Date).
-- The Issuer passes the interest payments received from the Collateral to the Hedging Counterparty as and when they occur.
-- The Hedging Counterparty makes the interest payments as specified in the Asset Swap Agreement to the Issuer. The Notes pay interest annually on 10 February, beginning in 2016 and ending in 2024.
-- The Hedging Counterparty pays a fixed rate of 2.3% per annum for the first two years of the transaction.
The subsequent payments on the Notes will be a fixed 0.5% of interest plus a floating bonus interest subject to a bonus threshold. The bonus interest is equal to the five-year EUR constant maturity swap (CMS) less 0.5% as calculated each year, with a maximum rate of 3.75% and a minimum rate of 0.50% per annum. The bonus threshold, in respect of each interest rate period, is determined by the euro-U.S. dollar exchange rate being below or equal to EUR 1.40. The fixed-rate and floating bonus interest rate in aggregate is equal to an interest rate of five-year EUR CMS (subject to a minimum of 1.00% and a maximum of 4.25%).
-- At the scheduled maturity, the Hedging Counterparty will receive the Collateral from the Issuer and will pay EUR 56.6 million.
The significant counterparties to the Issuer are various subsidiaries and affiliates of Deutsche Bank AG as listed below. DBRS maintains private ratings on these counterparties, which are not published.
-- Deutsche Bank AG, London Branch acts as the Hedging Counterparty, Initial Purchaser of the Notes, Calculation Agent, Paying Agent, Selling Agent and Arranger and pays the fees and expenses of the Issuer.
-- Deutsche Bank Luxembourg S.A., a wholly owned subsidiary of Deutsche Bank AG, acts as Custodian, Luxembourg Paying agent and Servicer.
-- Deutsche Trustee Company Limited acts as Trustee.
DBRS maintains Internal Assessments on the ratings of the corporate fixed-rate bonds that make up the Collateral. As per DBRS criteria, an Internal Assessment is an opinion on the creditworthiness of an Issuer based on either: (1) public rating(s) issued and maintained by other credit rating agencies (CRAs) that are registered in accordance with jurisdictional regulations, (2) DBRS analysis or (3) a combination of other CRA ratings and DBRS analysis. DBRS Internal Assessments are typically not made publicly available.
The Internal Assessments are being monitored on an ongoing basis to evaluate credit risk.
In addition to the credit profiles of the Collateral and the Hedging Counterparty, the rating of the Notes is based on DBRS’s review of the following items:
-- The transaction structure.
-- The transaction documents.
-- The legal opinions addressing, but not limited to, true sale of the Collateral, bankruptcy remoteness of the Issuer, the asset segregation of the Compartment, enforceability of the contracts and agreements and no tax to be withheld at the Issuer level.
DBRS did not address the following:
-- The pricing of the Asset Swap; that is, whether there will be sufficient cash flows from the Collateral to fully compensate the Hedging Counterparty for its obligations. As the Hedging Counterparty is contractually obliged to make the payments as specified under the Asset Swap Agreement, the risk that it defaults is addressed by the DBRS private rating.
-- Cash flow analysis to assess the returns due to the noteholders, as the returns are reliant on the swap counterparty.
The transaction can terminate early on the occurrence of an event of default, mandatory cancellation or cancellation for taxation and other reasons.
Events of default occur under, but are not limited to, the following scenarios:
-- Failure to pay any amount due on the Notes beyond the grace period.
-- The Issuer fails to perform its obligations under the Series Instrument.
-- An order by any competent court ordering the dissolution of the Issuer or the Company for whatever reason that includes, but is not limited to, bankruptcy, fraudulent conveyance and merger.
Mandatory cancellation includes:
-- The Collateral becomes repayable other than by the discretion of the relevant Collateral Obligor in accordance with the terms of the Collateral.
-- The Collateral becomes, for whatever reason, capable of being declared due and payable prior to its stated maturity.
-- The Collateral defaults.
Similarly, cancellation for taxation, etc., includes:
-- The Issuer becomes required to withhold tax on the next payment date.
-- Termination of the Hedging Agreement.
Under the Series Instrument, the amount payable to the noteholders is determined as the market value of the Collateral minus the Early Termination Unwind Costs.
The Early Termination Unwind Costs are determined as the sum of:
(1) The amount of (a) all costs, taxes, fees, expenses (including loss of funding), etc., incurred by the Hedging Counterparty (positive amount) or (b) the gain realised by the Hedging Counterparty (negative amount) as a result of the cancellation of the Asset Swap; and
(2) Legal and other costs incurred by the Issuer, Trustee, Custodian and Hedging Counterparty.
It should be noted that the DBRS rating assigned to this security does not address changes in law or changes in the interpretation of existing laws. Such changes in law or their interpretation could result in the early termination of the transaction and the noteholders could be subjected to a loss on the Notes.
All figures are in euros unless otherwise noted.
The principal methodology applicable to the rating is: “Rating CLOs and CDOs of Large Corporate Credit”.
DBRS has applied the principal methodology consistently and conducted a review of the transaction in accordance with the principal methodology.
A review of the transaction legal documents was not conducted as the legal documents have remained unchanged since the most recent rating action.
Other methodologies referenced in this transaction are listed at the end of this press release.
These may be found on www.dbrs.com at: http://www.dbrs.com/about/methodologies.
For a more detailed discussion of the sovereign risk impact on Structured Finance ratings, please refer to “Appendix C: The Impact of Sovereign Ratings on Other DBRS Credit Ratings” of the “Rating Sovereign Governments” methodology at: https://www.dbrs.com/research/333487/rating-sovereign-governments.
The sources of data and information used for this rating include Palladium Securities 1 S.A. and other public sources.
DBRS did not rely upon third-party due diligence in order to conduct its analysis.
At the time of the initial rating, DBRS was not supplied with third-party assessments. However, this did not impact the rating analysis.
DBRS considers the data and information available to it for the purposes of providing this rating to be of satisfactory quality.
DBRS does not audit or independently verify the data or information it receives in connection with the rating process.
The last rating action on this transaction took place on 19 January 2018, when DBRS confirmed the rating of the Notes at BB (high) (sf).
The lead analyst responsibilities for this transaction have been transferred to Alfonso Candelas.
Information regarding DBRS ratings, including definitions, policies and methodologies, is available at www.dbrs.com.
To assess the impact of changing the transaction parameters on the rating, DBRS considered the following stress scenarios, as compared to the parameters used to determine the rating (the “Base Case”):
-- A one-notch downgrade to the Collateral rating of the single lowest rated collateral.
-- A one-notch downgrade to the Hedging Counterparty rating.
DBRS concludes that a hypothetical one-notch downgrade to the rating of the lowest rated collateral, ceteris paribus, would lead to a confirmation of the transaction at BB (high) (sf). A hypothetical one-notch downgrade to the Hedging Counterparty rating, ceteris paribus, would not affect the current rating. A scenario combining both a one-notch downgrade of the Collateral rating of the lowest rated collateral and a one-notch downgrade to the Hedging Counterparty rating would lead to a confirmation of the Series 147 Instrument rating at BB (high) (sf).
For further information on DBRS historical default rates published by the European Securities and Markets Authority (“ESMA”) in a central repository, see: http://cerep.esma.europa.eu/cerep-web/statistics/defaults.xhtml.
Ratings assigned by DBRS Ratings GmbH are subject to EU and US regulations only.
Lead Analyst: Alfonso Candelas, Senior Vice President
Rating Committee Chair: Vito Natale, Senior Vice President
Initial Rating Date: 10 February 2015
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The rating methodologies used in the analysis of this transaction can be found at: http://www.dbrs.com/about/methodologies.
-- Legal Criteria for European Structured Finance Transactions
-- Derivative Criteria for European Structured Finance Transactions
-- Rating CLOs and CDOs of Large Corporate Credit
A description of how DBRS analyses structured finance transactions and how the methodologies are collectively applied can be found at: http://www.dbrs.com/research/278375.
For more information on this credit or on this industry, visit www.dbrs.com or contact us at email@example.com.