(The following was released by the rating agency)
MELBOURNE (Standard & Poor‘s) July 25, 2012--Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services said today that its rating on Australian listed gas transmission entity APA Group’s finance arm APT Pipelines Ltd. (collectively APA; BBB/Stable) is not immediately affected by APA’s announcement that subject to satisfactory completion of due diligence it may proceed with an increased takeover offer for the approximate 80% of Hastings Diversified Utilities Fund (HDUF) that it does not already own.
If APA were to proceed with a bid and be successful in acquiring HDUF, the potential impact on the ‘BBB’ rating will be driven by our assessment of the consolidated group’s revised business and financial risk profiles. Key factors will include the new consolidated APA group’s increased gas transmission market share, level of volume risk, and cash flow stability. Also important would be the impact on APA’s current financial risk profile given the funding structure of the bid, the size and timing of any Moomba to Adelaide pipeline sale, and the addition of about A$1.3 billion of gross debt from HDUF to APA’s consolidated adjusted debt.