Approximately $620 million of rated debt affected
Toronto, November 22, 2012 -- Moody's Investors Service assigned a Caa1 rating to Paramount Resource Ltd.'s (Paramount) proposed C$250 million senior unsecured notes issue. Paramount's B3 Corporate Family Rating (CFR), B3 Probability of Default Rating (PDR) and existing Caa1 senior unsecured rating were affirmed. The rating outlook was changed to stable from negative. A Speculative Grade Liquidity rating of SGL-3 was assigned.
The proceeds of the notes will be used to fund sizeable negative free cash flow resulting from the company's large capital expenditure program and to repay drawings under its revolving credit facility.
"The affirmation of the B3 Corporate Family Rating and the change in outlook to stable reflects our view that Paramount is progressing towards a larger and more liquids-rich production base," said Terry Marshall, Moody's senior vice president. "Paramount has considerable available liquidity to bridge significant negative free cash flow as it completes the Musreau Deep Cut plant and releases liquids-rich production-behind-pipe in the second half of 2013".
..Issuer: Paramount Resources LTD
....Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, Upgraded to LGD4, 68% from LGD5, 73%
..Issuer: Paramount Resources LTD
.... Speculative Grade Liquidity Rating, Assigned SGL-3
....Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, Assigned a range of 68 - LGD4 to Caa1
....Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, Assigned a range of 68 - LGD4 to Caa1
..Issuer: Paramount Resources LTD
....Outlook, Changed To Stable From Negative
Paramount's B3 CFR is constrained by its significant exposure to natural gas, low leveraged full-cycle ratio, and very weak financial metrics. The rating is supported by substantial alternate liquidity from publicly listed equity investments, the company's willingness and ability to issue equity to support capital investment, significant insider ownership (greater than 50 percent), and liquids-rich production growth potential that will be possible with the completion and start-up of the Musreau Deep-Cut plant in the second half of 2013.
The Caa1 unsecured notes are notched down from the B3 Corporate Family Rating due to the prior-ranking debt in the form of the C$300 million secured borrowing base revolving credit facility, as per Moody's Loss Given Default Methodology.
The SGL-3 Speculative Grade Liquidity rating is based on the assumption that the proposed November 2012 notes issuance closes and reflects adequate liquidity through 2013. Pro forma for the October 2012 equity offering and the November 2012 notes issuance, Paramount will have about C$240 million of cash and C$258 million available, after C$42 million of letters of credit, under its C$300 million senior secured revolving credit facilities. One tranche has commitments of C$225 million and is a borrowing base facility that matures on November 30, 2013 with a one year term out. The other tranche has commitments of C$75 million, matures on November 30, 2013, and is secured by the company's equity investments. We expect that Paramount will generate roughly C$600 million of negative free cash flow through 2013, which will likely be funded with cash on hand and debt. Paramount also has the flexibility to raise funds from asset sales, equity issuances, and/or by selling shares from its equity investments, sources of funds that it has accessed in the past.
The stable outlook reflects Paramount's considerable alternate liquidity, as well as significant production-behind-pipe and midstream assets that will provide cash flow from natural gas liquids production. While a rating upgrade is not likely over the near term, it would be considered if the company can execute its development plan. Specifically, the rating could be upgraded if liquids-rich production appears to be sustainable over 25,000 boe per day, leverage, as measured by E&P debt to production is sustainable below US$30,000 per boe and the LFCR can be maintained over 1x. The rating could be downgraded if Paramount's liquidity is strained with any significant reduction in value in its equity investments or if it fails to advance its development program.
The principal methodology used in rating Paramount Resources was the Global Independent Exploration and Production Industry Methodology published in December 2011. 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.
Paramount Resources Ltd. (Paramount) is a Calgary, Alberta-based natural gas focused exploration and production company with principal properties in Alberta, and average production of about 18,000 boe per day (80% natural gas).
The Global Scale Credit Ratings on this press release that are issued by one of Moody's affiliates outside the EU are endorsed by Moody's Investors Service Ltd., One Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E 14 5FA, UK, in accordance with Art.4 paragraph 3 of the Regulation (EC) No 1060/2009 on Credit Rating Agencies. Further information on the EU endorsement status and on the Moody's office that has issued a particular Credit Rating is available on www.moodys.com.
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.
Information sources used to prepare the rating are the following : parties involved in the ratings, parties not 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.
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.
Terry Marshall Senior Vice President Corporate Finance Group Moody'sCanada Inc.70 York Street Suite 1400 Toronto, ON M5J 1S9 Canada(416) 214-1635Donald S. Carter, CFA MD - Corporate Finance Corporate Finance Group(416) 214-1635 Releasing Office: Moody's Canada Inc.70 York Street Suite 1400 Toronto, ON M5J 1S9 Canada(416) 214-1635(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.
ALL INFORMATION CONTAINED HEREIN IS PROTECTED BY LAW, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO, COPYRIGHT LAW, AND NONE OF SUCH INFORMATION MAY BE COPIED OR OTHERWISE REPRODUCED, REPACKAGED, FURTHER TRANSMITTED, TRANSFERRED,DISSEMINATED, REDISTRIBUTED OR RESOLD, OR STORED FOR SUBSEQUENT USE FOR ANY SUCH PURPOSE, IN WHOLE OR IN PART, IN ANY FORM OR MANNER OR BY ANY MEANS WHATSOEVER, BY ANY PERSON WITHOUT MOODY'S PRIOR WRITTEN CONSENT.
All information contained herein is obtained by MOODY'S from sources believed by it to be accurate and reliable. Because of the possibility of human or mechanical error as well as other factors, however, all information contained herein is provided "AS IS" without warranty of any kind. MOODY'S adopts all necessary measures so that the information it uses in assigning a credit 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. Under no circumstances shall MOODY'S have any liability to any person or entity for (a) any loss or damage in whole or in part caused by, resulting from, or relating to, any error negligent or otherwise or other circumstance or contingency within or outside the control of MOODY'S or any of its directors, officers, employees or agents in connection with the procurement, collection, compilation, analysis, interpretation, communication, publication or delivery of any such information, or (b) any direct, indirect, special, consequential, compensatory or incidental damages whatsoever (including without limitation, lost profits), even if MOODY'S is advised in advance of the possibility of such damages, resulting from the use of or inability to use, any such information. The ratings, financial reporting analysis, projections, and other observations, if any, constituting part of the information contained herein are, and must be construed solely as, statements of opinion and not statements of fact or recommendations to purchase, sell or hold any securities. Each user of the information contained herein must make its own study and evaluation of each security it may consider purchasing, holding or selling.
NO WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, AS TO THE ACCURACY, TIMELINESS, COMPLETENESS, MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR ANY PARTICULAR PURPOSE OF ANY SUCH RATING OR OTHER OPINION OR INFORMATION IS GIVEN OR MADE BY MOODY'S IN ANY FORM OR MANNER WHATSOEVER.
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."
Any publication into Australia of this document is by MOODY'S affiliate, Moody's Investors Service Pty Limited ABN 61 003 399 657, which holds Australian Financial Services License no. 336969. This document is intended to be provided only to "wholesale clients" within the meaning of section 761G of the Corporations Act 2001. By continuing to access this document from within Australia, you represent to MOODY'S that you are, or are accessing the document as a representative of, a "wholesale client" and that neither you nor the entity you represent will directly or indirectly disseminate this document or its contents to "retail clients" within the meaning of section 761G of the Corporations Act 2001.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, credit ratings assigned on and after October 1, 2010 by Moody's Japan K.K. ("MJKK") are MJKK's current opinions of the relative future credit risk of entities, credit commitments, or debt or debt-like securities. In such a case, "MIS" in the foregoing statements shall be deemed to be replaced with "MJKK". MJKK is a wholly-owned credit rating agency subsidiary of Moody's Group Japan G.K., which is wholly owned by Moody's Overseas Holdings Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of MCO.
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.