CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Fitch Ratings has taken various rating actions on the following seven classes of floating- and fixed-rated secured notes issued by SVG Diamond Private Equity plc (SVG), a securitization of existing limited partnership interests and future commitments to private equity funds, which is managed by SVG Advisers Ltd.:
--EUR40,000,000 class A1 upgraded to 'AA+sf' from 'AAsf'; Outlook Stable;
--$55,000,000 class A2 upgraded to 'AA+sf' from 'AAsf'; Outlook Stable;
--EUR58,500,000 class B1 upgraded to 'A+sf' from 'Asf'; Outlook Stable;
--$26,300,000 class B2 upgraded to 'A+sf' from 'Asf'; Outlook Stable;
--EUR15,000,000 class C affirmed at 'Asf'; Outlook Stable;
--EUR40,000,000 class M1 affirmed at 'Bsf'; Outlook Stable;
--$49,000,000 class M2 affirmed at 'Bsf'; Outlook Stable.
KEY RATING DRIVERS:
--Increase in portfolio net asset value (NAV);
--Increase in overall credit enhancement through class A principal amortization;
--Adequate near term liquidity relative to unfunded commitments.
NET ASSET VALUE & CREDIT ENHANCEMENT
Between Oct. 31, 2011 and Aug. 31, 2012, the market value of SVG's invested portfolio increased by 6% to EUR338.4 million from EUR319.4 million, according to the respective trustee reports, as the fund continued its rebound from mid-2009 valuation lows following cost cutting and balance sheet strengthening of underlying portfolio companies. The NAV performance of the transaction has been in line with Fitch's expectations since the October 2011 review. Credit enhancement (subordination) levels for all classes of notes have increased due to partial amortization of the class A notes and the increased NAV. The class A note balance has been reduced by approximately 70% following the March and September 2012 semi-annual payment dates.
According to the Aug. 31, 2012 trustee report, SVG's unfunded commitment exposure was reduced by EUR33.7 million from the prior review to an outstanding balance of EUR86.1 million. This amount is currently covered by cash/liquid investments of EUR112.8 million. SVG's cash reserve accounts have now been built up to a point where they have replaced the fund's liquidity facilities. Minimum reserves are sized at 78.57% of unfunded commitments and six months of senior expenses. The increase in reserve account amounts reflects the strong performance of the fund's incoming cash flow distributions from its underlying private equity funds.
The ratings assigned to the class A, B and C notes address the likelihood that investors will receive timely payment of interest and ultimate repayment of principal. The ratings assigned to the class M notes address the likelihood that investors will receive ultimate payment of interest and principal.
In addition to the analytical approach outlined in the criteria report titled 'Rating Market Value Structures' dated Aug. 15, 2012, Fitch undertook additional analysis specific to the SVG transaction and its underlying collateral. Specifically, Fitch's loss assumptions were based on historically observed peak-to-trough losses from venture capital and buyout valuation indices. The index data included the 2000-2002 time period (tech bubble), when venture capital had significantly higher valuation increases and suffered material subsequent losses. For buyout funds, these index data included the 2005-2007 time period, when leverage and valuations for buyout transactions increased significantly leading up to the financial crisis, and were subsequently followed by material mark-to-market losses during the 2007-2009 time period.
Based on observed historical price declines, as well as the transaction's portfolio composition and vintage diversification, a base-line loss assumption of approximately 33% was applied to all classes of notes and subtracted from their current levels of credit enhancement. The remaining credit enhancement was then compared to different rating stresses to determine the appropriateness of existing ratings. The loss assumptions were increased (decreased) from these levels when evaluating higher (lower) rated securities. Going forward, Fitch will track actual gains or losses from portfolio investments on an ongoing basis and adjust its base case loss assumptions accordingly.
SVG is a securitization of existing limited partnership interests and new commitments to private equity funds. Due to SVG having recently entered its amortization period, the fund does not currently have the ability to enter into new commitments but may fund remaining undrawn commitments.
As of Aug. 31, 2012, approximately 98% of the portfolio was invested in buy-out funds while the remaining 2% was invested in venture capital funds. The transaction was invested in 63 funds managed by 42 managers, with fund vintages ranging from 1993-2008, and over 50% invested in funds of a 2005 or later vintage. As of the same date, the portfolio was meeting all of its diversification guidelines in terms of exposure to individual managers, funds, vintages and currencies.
SVG is managed by SVG Advisers Ltd (SVG). Headquartered in London with offices in Boston, MA and Singapore, SVG is a wholly owned subsidiary of SVG Capital plc. Established in 2001, SVG is a global alternative asset manager focused exclusively on private equity investments. As of June 30, 2012, SVG had private equity funds under management and commitments of EUR3.4 billion. SVG has 45 employees including 16 investment professionals with over 100 years of total private equity experience. SVG is authorized and regulated by the Financial Services Authority in the UK and is a registered broker-dealer and a member of the National Association of Securities Dealers, Inc. in the U.S. SVG is also registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
RATING SENSITIVITY AND SURVEILLANCE
Going forward, the assigned ratings may be sensitive to material changes in the values of the underlying private equity fund investments and the impact these have on SVG's overall NAV and liquidity relative to the rated liabilities. Furthermore, ratings may be influenced by the rate at which unfunded commitments are drawn, the rate at which gains (or losses) on existing private equity investments are realized, overall economic conditions, and Fitch's assessment of how these factors may influence performance for a given point in time as well as on a going-forward basis. A material adverse deviation from Fitch guidelines for any key rating driver could cause the rating to be lowered by Fitch. For additional information about Fitch ratings guidelines for market value structures, please review the criteria referenced below, which can be found on Fitch's website.
Fitch seeks monthly portfolio holdings information and semi-annual financial statements for the fund from The Bank of New York Mellon (trustee) and SVG Advisers, Ltd., respectively, to conduct surveillance against ratings guidelines and maintain its ratings.
The sources of information used to assess this rating were the public domain and SVG Advisers Ltd.
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:
--'Rating Market Value Structures' (Aug. 15, 2012).
Applicable Criteria and Related Research:
Rating Market Value Structures
Russ Thomas, +1-312-368-3189
70 West Madison Street
Chicago, IL 60602
Yuriy Layvand, CFA, +1-212-908-9191
Peter Patrino, +1-312-368-3266
Sandro Scenga, +1-212-908-0278
Source: Fitch Ratings