×

TEXT-S&P rates Viking Cruises 'B+'; proposed sr unsecd debt rated

(The following statement was released by the rating agency)

Oct 09 - Overview

-- U.S. river cruise operator Viking Cruises Ltd. plans to issue $250 million in senior notes.

-- The company will primarily use the proceeds to invest in new river vessels and expand into coastal cruising, to fund the buyout of minority shareholders and a dividend to Viking's parent, and for general corporate purposes.

-- We are assigning Viking our 'B+' corporate credit rating, and the proposed senior notes our 'B+' issue-level rating and '4' recovery rating.

-- The stable outlook reflects our expectation for significant EBITDA growth from the rapid expansion of the company's fleet to largely offset incremental debt from this transaction and ship financings over the next few years, resulting in credit measures remaining in line with the rating.

Rating Action

On Oct. 9, 2012, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services assigned Woodland Hills, Calif.-based river cruise operator Viking Cruises Ltd. its 'B+' corporate credit rating. The rating outlook is stable.

At the same time, we assigned Viking's proposed $250 million senior notes due 2022 our 'B+' issue-level with a recovery rating of '4', indicating our expectation for average (30% to 50%) recovery for lenders in the event of a payment default.

Viking plans to use the proceeds from the notes to help invest in new river vessels, to expand into coastal cruising, to buy out minority shareholders, to fund a dividend to Viking's parent, and for general corporate purposes and transaction fees and expenses.