Friday, 08 June 12 NO IMMEDIATE IMPACT ON ADARO'S RATING FROM BEP TRANSACTION - FITCH RATINGS
Fitch Ratings has said that PT Adaro Indonesia's (Adaro, 'BB+'/ Stable) ratings are not immediately affected by its parent PT Adaro Energy Tbk's (Adaro Energy) planned investment in greenfield coal miner PT Bhakti Energi Persada (BEP).
Adaro Energy recently signed an agreement for the right to acquire up to 51% of BEP over three years for up to USD500m through a convertible loan or to issue a pre-specified number of shares of Adaro Energy to the shareholders of BEP (participating in this agreement) in exchange for 79.8% of BEP. Adaro Energy currently owns 10.22% of BEP.
BEP has seven coal concessions, all IUPs (Izin Usaha Pertambangans - mining business licences), with estimated Australasian Joint Ore Reserves Committee (JORC)-compliant coal resources of 9.53 billion tonnes. Fitch expects that a large part of the investment required before bringing these resources to production will relate to the coal hauling road connecting the mines to barging and shipping points. Coal resources of BEP are of low energy content (3,379kcal on a gross as received basis) and as such will trade at a substantial discount to benchmark thermal coal prices. However, the favourable geology of BEP mines will allow the extraction of coal at an extremely low strip ratio (i.e., units of overburden to be removed on per unit of coal extracted) over the average life of a mine of below 0.5x as estimated by Adaro Energy, supporting the economic viability of these operations. The materially shorter supply chain of BEP's mines at 130km (versus 320km for Adaro's existing mines) would provide further support.
However, BEP coal mines have substantially lower cash margins than Adaro Energy's currently main cash generating mine, Tutupan, and are more susceptible to low coal prices. There is also uncertainty relating to coal mining regulations in Indonesia at present, such as restrictions on coal exports and a resource export tax. Any unfavourable regulatory developments can affect the commerciality of BEP's operations. However, Adaro Energy's options to invest in rather than an outright purchase of BEP resources provide a meaningful level of flexibility and safety. Fitch believes that any investments in the first half of the three-year option period will not be significant and can be funded from Adaro Energy's projected internal cash generation.
If successfully executed, BEP can over time contribute to the increasing diversity of Adaro Energy's mining operations. The limited diversity of Adaro Energy's existing mine sites is one of the factors currently constraining its ratings.
The ratings of Adaro are based on the credit profile of Adaro Energy given their strong rating linkages as per Fitch's parent-subsidiary linkage methodology. At end-March 2012 Adaro Energy's funds from operations (FFO)-adjusted gross leverage was 2.4x and FFO interest coverage 7.0x.
Negative rating action may result from FFO gross leverage rising above 2.75x or FFO interest coverage falling below 5x for two consecutive years. Other negative rating guidelines are material deviation from its policy of maintaining strong liquidity; adverse regulatory developments that will significantly impair Adaro Energy's financial profile; further substantial investments that weaken Adaro's financial or operating risk profile and a sustained weakening of coal prices. Source: Fitch (Hong Kong) Limited
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