Fitch Upgrades Indiana Finance Authority's Private Activity Bonds to 'A-' from 'BBB+'; Outlook Stable (Ohio River Bridges East End Crossing)
SOURCE: Fitch Ratings
NEW YORK - Fitch Ratings has upgraded the rating on approximately $482.3 million series 2013A (long-term private activity bonds [PABs]) issued by Indiana Finance Authority (IFA) on behalf of WVB East End Partners LLC (WVB) to 'A-' from 'BBB+'. The Rating Outlook is Stable.
The IFA's series 2013B PABs, issued on behalf of WVB, have been paid in full according to the original plan of finance with the final milestone payment received as of substantial completion.
The upgrade to 'A-' from 'BBB+' reflects successful substantial completion of the project. The upgrade also reflects stronger financial metrics, specifically average rating case debt service coverage ratios (DSCR) and breakeven ratios which are consistent with the 'A' category under Fitch's Rating Criteria for Availability-Based Projects.
The 'A-' rating reflects the largely completed project and its moderate exposure to cost risk as a result of a comparatively complex bridge and tunnel structure and cost overrun risk. The rating also reflects the project's availability payment (AP) structure whose revenues are funded by financially strong grantor, the Indiana Finance Authority (IFA; AA'/Outlook Stable) with minimal deduction exposure. Cost risk is substantially mitigated by the project's resilient financial profile through debt maturity, evidenced by a realistic outside cost (ROC) multiple of over 15x and an average rating case DSCR profile of 1.32x.
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Walsh is a 33.3% equal equity partner in WVB, an exclusive concession to design, construct and finance the project, and to operate and maintain the Ohio River Bridges East End Crossing project.