07.12.2012 13:37
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Aguila 3 S.A. -- Moody's changes Swissport's outlook to negative from stable (CFR B2)

London, 07 December 2012 -- Moody's Investors Service has today changed the outlook on the ratings of Aguila 3 S.A. ("Swissport") to negative from stable.

RATINGS RATIONALE

The change in the outlook reflects Moody's view that Swissport's credit metrics remain weakly positioned for the B2 category, given also our expectations of a weaker macroeconomic outlook for 2013-14 which is expected to affect global air traffic and passenger airlines.

Swissport reported 9% year-on-year growth in revenue during the first 9 months of 2012 at approximately CHF1.4 billion driven by a contribution from start-ups and new contract wins as well as higher underlying traffic in Brazil, Algeria and Munich in ground handling. These factors were partially offset by volume shortfalls in cargo, lower traffic in Greece, France and the UK in ground handling as well as the impact of the loss of some contracts. Adjusted EBITDA reported by Swissport at CHF137 million represented a 5% year-on-year increase from CHF131 million during the same period of 2011, although CHF9 million of the increase is attributed to a one-off income from Ferrovial as a result of the change in ownership in 2011.

Moody's adjusted LTM gross leverage at 6.4x as of September 2012 stayed close to the level of December 2011, as the growth in EBITDA was offset by the increase in debt due to a tap issuance of USD130 million senior secured notes in May 2012 to support the acquisition of Flightcare (completed in September 2012). The leverage would have been lower, if the pro forma contribution to EBITDA of Flightcare was included.

Moody's recognises the resilience of Swissport's financial performance in the light of the challenging industry environment. Nevertheless, the company's metrics remain close to downgrade triggers in terms of leverage and interest cover. Moreover, the company's geographical exposure remains focused on Europe, with 63% of 2012 revenue (proforma for Flightcare acquisition) expected to be derived from Europe. This, combined with Moody's concern about airline industry development in Europe in the context of more conservative macroeconomic forecast recently undertaken by Moody's, results in the negative outlook on the ratings.

The company's liquidity remains good, including approximately CHF97 million cash on balance sheet and CHF146 million undrawn amount out of CHF200 million revolving credit facility.

Although a near-time upgrade is unlikely given the negative outlook, this could arise if Swissport's credit metrics were to improve as a result of a stronger-than-expected operational performance, leading to a debt/EBITDA ratio of around 5.0x, a free cash flow/debt ratio of around 5% and a (EBITDA-Capex)/Interest expense ratio above 2.0x. Conversely, downward pressure could be exerted on the ratings as a result of: (i) a deterioration in the company's debt/EBITDA ratio to above 6.0x; (ii) free cash flow turning negative; and (iii) (EBITDA-Capex)/Interest expense ratio falling below 1.5x.

The principal methodology used in rating Aguila 3 S.A. was the Global Business & Consumer Service Industry Rating Methodology published in October 2010. Other methodologies used include Loss Given Default for Speculative-Grade Non-Financial Companies in the U.S., Canada and EMEA published in June 2009. Please see the Credit Policy page on www.moodys.com for a copy of these methodologies.

Headquartered in Zurich, Swissport is the largest independent ground handler in the world based on revenue and number of stations and the second largest cargo handler in the world based on tons of cargo handled. The company provided ground handling services for over 100 million passengers on over 2.6 million flights and handled approximately 3.2 million tons of cargo for more than 300 airline customers in 2011. For the adjusted 12 months period ended 31 December 2011, Swissport generated revenues and adjusted EBITDA of approximately CHF1.7 billion and CHF163 million, respectively.

REGULATORY DISCLOSURES

For ratings issued on a program, series or category/class of debt, this announcement provides relevant regulatory disclosures in relation to each rating of a subsequently issued bond or note of the same series or category/class of debt or pursuant to a program for which the ratings are derived exclusively from existing ratings in accordance with Moody's rating practices. For ratings issued on a support provider, this announcement provides relevant regulatory disclosures in relation to the rating action on the support provider and in relation to each particular rating action for securities that derive their credit ratings from the support provider's credit rating. For provisional ratings, this announcement provides relevant regulatory disclosures in relation to the provisional rating assigned, and in relation to a definitive rating that may be assigned subsequent to the final issuance of the debt, in each case where the transaction structure and terms have not changed prior to the assignment of the definitive rating in a manner that would have affected the rating. For further information please see the ratings tab on the issuer/entity page for the respective issuer on www.moodys.com.

The rating has been disclosed to the rated entity or its designated agent(s) and issued with no amendment resulting from that disclosure.

Information sources used to prepare the rating are the following: parties involved in the ratings, public information, and confidential and proprietary Moody's Investors Service information.

Moody's considers the quality of information available on the rated entity, obligation or credit satisfactory for the purposes of issuing a rating.

Moody's adopts all necessary measures so that the information it uses in assigning a rating is of sufficient quality and from sources Moody's considers to be reliable including, when appropriate, independent third-party sources. However, Moody's is not an auditor and cannot in every instance independently verify or validate information received in the rating process.

Moody's Investors Service may have provided Ancillary or Other Permissible Service(s) to the rated entity or its related third parties within the two years preceding the credit rating action. Please see the special report "Ancillary or other permissible services provided to entities rated by MIS's EU credit rating agencies" on the ratings disclosure page on our website www.moodys.com for further information.

Please see the ratings disclosure page on www.moodys.com for general disclosure on potential conflicts of interests.

Please see the ratings disclosure page on www.moodys.com for information on (A) MCO's major shareholders (above 5%) and for (B) further information regarding certain affiliations that may exist between directors of MCO and rated entities as well as (C) the names of entities that hold ratings from MIS that have also publicly reported to the SEC an ownership interest in MCO of more than 5%. A member of the board of directors of this rated entity may also be a member of the board of directors of a shareholder of Moody's Corporation; however, Moody's has not independently verified this matter.

Please see Moody's Rating Symbols and Definitions on the Rating Process page on www.moodys.com for further information on the meaning of each rating category and the definition of default and recovery.

Please see ratings tab on the issuer/entity page on www.moodys.com for the last rating action and the rating history. The date on which some ratings were first released goes back to a time before Moody's ratings were fully digitized and accurate data may not be available. Consequently, Moody's provides a date that it believes is the most reliable and accurate based on the information that is available to it. Please see the ratings disclosure page on our website www.moodys.com for further information.

Please see www.moodys.com for any updates on changes to the lead rating analyst and to the Moody's legal entity that has issued the rating.

Tanya Savkin Vice President - Senior Analyst Corporate Finance Group Moody'sInvestors Service Ltd. One Canada SquareCanary WharfLondon E14 5FA United Kingdom JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456 SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454 Chetan Modi MD - Corporate Finance Corporate Finance Group JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456 SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454 Releasing Office: Moody's Investors Service Ltd. One Canada SquareCanary WharfLondon E14 5FA United Kingdom JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456 SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454 (C) 2012 Moody's Investors Service, Inc. and/or its licensors and affiliates (collectively, "MOODY'S"). All rights reserved.

CREDIT RATINGS ISSUED BY MOODY'S INVESTORS SERVICE, INC. ("MIS") AND ITS AFFILIATES ARE MOODY'S CURRENT OPINIONS OF THE RELATIVE FUTURE CREDIT RISK OF ENTITIES, CREDIT COMMITMENTS, OR DEBT OR DEBT-LIKE SECURITIES, AND CREDIT RATINGS AND RESEARCH PUBLICATIONS PUBLISHED BY MOODY'S ("MOODY'S PUBLICATIONS") MAY INCLUDE MOODY'S CURRENT OPINIONS OF THE RELATIVE FUTURE CREDIT RISK OF ENTITIES, CREDIT COMMITMENTS, OR DEBT OR DEBT-LIKE SECURITIES. MOODY'S DEFINES CREDIT RISK AS THE RISK THAT AN ENTITY MAY NOT MEET ITS CONTRACTUAL, FINANCIAL OBLIGATIONS AS THEY COME DUE AND ANY ESTIMATED FINANCIAL LOSS IN THE EVENT OF DEFAULT. CREDIT RATINGS DO NOT ADDRESS ANY OTHER RISK, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO: LIQUIDITY RISK, MARKET VALUE RISK, OR PRICE VOLATILITY. CREDIT RATINGS AND MOODY'S OPINIONS INCLUDED IN MOODY'S PUBLICATIONS ARE NOT STATEMENTS OF CURRENT OR HISTORICAL FACT. CREDIT RATINGS AND MOODY'S PUBLICATIONS DO NOT CONSTITUTE OR PROVIDE INVESTMENT OR FINANCIAL ADVICE, AND CREDIT RATINGS AND MOODY'S PUBLICATIONS ARE NOT AND DO NOT PROVIDE RECOMMENDATIONS TO PURCHASE, SELL, OR HOLD PARTICULAR SECURITIES. NEITHER CREDIT RATINGS NOR MOODY'S PUBLICATIONS COMMENT ON THE SUITABILITY OF AN INVESTMENT FOR ANY PARTICULAR INVESTOR. MOODY'S ISSUES ITS CREDIT RATINGS AND PUBLISHES MOODY'S PUBLICATIONS WITH THE EXPECTATION AND UNDERSTANDING THAT EACH INVESTOR WILL MAKE ITS OWN STUDY AND EVALUATION OF EACH SECURITY THAT IS UNDER CONSIDERATION FOR PURCHASE, HOLDING, OR SALE.

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MIS, a wholly-owned credit rating agency subsidiary of Moody's Corporation ("MCO"), hereby discloses that most issuers of debt securities (including corporate and municipal bonds, debentures, notes and commercial paper) and preferred stock rated by MIS have, prior to assignment of any rating, agreed to pay to MIS for appraisal and rating services rendered by it fees ranging from $1,500 to approximately $2,500,000. MCO and MIS also maintain policies and procedures to address the independence of MIS's ratings and rating processes. Information regarding certain affiliations that may exist between directors of MCO and rated entities, and between entities who hold ratings from MIS and have also publicly reported to the SEC an ownership interest in MCO of more than 5%, is posted annually at www.moodys.com under the heading "Shareholder Relations -- Corporate Governance -- Director and Shareholder Affiliation Policy."

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This credit rating is an opinion as to the creditworthiness or a debt obligation of the issuer, not on the equity securities of the issuer or any form of security that is available to retail investors. It would be dangerous for retail investors to make any investment decision based on this credit rating. If in doubt you should contact your financial or other professional adviser.

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