SAO PAULO & CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Fitch Ratings has assigned the following rating to the notes issued by SBM Baleia Azul, S.a.r.l. (the issuer), a company domiciled in Luxemburg:
--USD500 million senior secured notes 'BBB'; Outlook Stable.
The notes are backed by the flows related to the charter agreement signed with Petroleo Brasileiro S.A. (Petrobras; Issuer Default Rating 'BBB') for the use of the floating-production-storage and offloading unit (FPSO) Cidade de Anchieta for a term of 18 years. SBM do Brasil Ltda. (SBM Brasil), the Brazilian subsidiary of SBM Holding Inc. S.A. (SBM), is the operator of the FPSO. SBM is the primary sponsor of the transaction.
The Cidade de Anchieta is one of 19 FPSOs in SBM's global fleet. On Sept. 17, 2012, SBM announced the vessel successfully completed the acceptance process with Petrobras, and officially began operating at the Baleia Azul oil field on Sept. 10, 2012.
The Cidade de Anchieta FPSO has recently completed refurbishment to adapt oil processing and other key equipment to the characteristics of the Baleia Azul oil field. The FPSO was previously named FPSO Espadarte, and was allocated to the oil field of the same name up until the end of 2010. Proceeds of the issuance have in large part been used to reimburse SBM for most costs of refurbishment.
Noteholders have been assigned a collateral package that includes a pledge of the shares of the issuer and owner of the vessel, as well as a mortgage on the FPSO.
Fitch considered the following factors in its credit analysis: the positive environment surrounding the development of the local oil and gas industry in Brazil, Petrobras' role as off-taker to the charter agreement, the credit quality and experience of SBM as sponsor of the transaction, the operating characteristics of an FPSO, overall leverage and liquidity, and the structural protections in place, among other factors.
A detailed description of the criteria applied in the analysis is provided in Fitch's New Issuer Report titled 'SBM Baleia Azul, S.a.r.l.' available at 'www.fitchratings.com'.
Additional information is available at 'www.fitchratings.com'. The ratings above were solicited by, or on behalf of, the issuer, and therefore, Fitch has been compensated for the provision of the ratings.
Applicable Criteria and Related Research:
--'Global Structured Finance Rating Criteria', June 6, 2012.
Applicable Criteria and Related Research: SBM Baleia Azul, SII/ S.a.r.l. - Series 2012-1
Global Structured Finance Rating Criteria
Bernardo Costa, +55-11-4504-2607
Fitch Ratings do Brasil Ltda.
Alameda Santos, 700
Sao Paulo-SP 01418-100
Cinthya Ortega, +1-312-606-2373
Greg Kabance, +1-312-368-2052
Elizabeth Fogerty, New York, +1 212-908-0526
Source: Fitch Ratings