Moody’s Investors Service says it has withdrawn its credit rating relating to a Euro Medium Term Note (EMTN) program previously established by Crown Resorts subsidiary Publishing and Broadcasting (Finance) Limited.
Inside Asian Gaming understands the program, through which Crown has raised close around US$175 million, has been halted by Crown, resulting in Moody’s withdrawing its credit rating.
In a Monday filing, Crown confirmed that, as per previous announcements, any action that leads to the EMTNs being unrated or rated below investment grade by any rating agency which rates the Notes – currently Fitch Ratings and Standard & Poor’s – would entitle any holders to “require redemption at the outstanding principal amount plus a make whole premium.”
While the EMTN program rating has been withdrawn, Moody’s said it continues to provide an issuer rating in respect of Crown Resorts itself, which it downgraded from Baa2 from Baa3 in November 2020. The downgrade was in response to the New South Wales Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority refusing to approve Crown to launch gaming operations at Crown Sydney in December, pending the release of findings from an inquiry into the company’s suitability to hold a NSW gaming license.
Crown said at the time that the downgrade would result in an increase in the interest cost associated with Crown’s EMTNs by around US$1 million per annum.
According to Moody’s analyst Maadhavi Barber, the downgrade also reflected the agency’s opinion “that there is an increasing likelihood of material downside implications from the escalating regulatory investigations Crown is facing.
“In particular, the review will focus on the potential for further material negative outcomes that could not only affect the license for Crown Sydney, but could also bring forth regulatory challenges to Crown’s other licenses.”
The findings of the NSW inquiry are due to be handed down by Commissioner Patricia Bergin in early February.