Fitch Downgrades Nigeria’s Seven Energy to ‘RD’

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(The following statement was released by the rating agency) MOSCOW/LONDON, December 02 (Fitch) Fitch Ratings has downgraded Nigeria-based Seven Energy International Limited’s Issuer Default Rating to ‘RD’ from ‘C’ following the announcement of the results of the consent solicitation for the 10.25% USD300m senior secured notes due 2021: 95.31% of the noteholders voted in favour of the proposal.


Simultaneously, Fitch has affirmed the senior secured rating of wholly owned subsidiary Seven Energy Finance Limited’s USD300m notes at ‘C’ with a ‘RR6’ Recovery Rating. The accepted proposal qualifies as a distressed debt exchange under Fitch’s criteria as it imposes a material reduction in terms compared with the original ones and is conducted to avoid a payment default. Under the new terms, Seven Energy may choose to pay interest on the notes in kind, ie by increasing the principal amount of the outstanding notes or by issuing additional notes for up to four coupon payments between 11 October 2016 and 11 April 2018.

Seven Energy remains under severe liquidity pressure due to a combination of factors including: the fall in oil prices, a limited ability to convert naira into dollars, and the prolonged Forcados export pipeline closure, which has resulted in no oil lifting since February 2016. In addition to the notes consent solicitation, the company has recently agreed with the Accugas IV facility bank lenders to defer the amortisation schedule for debt payments into 2018.


It is also working on a new facility with Nigerian and international banks and development finance institutions for longer-term credit facilities. Therefore the ‘RD’ rating is likely to remain until we have more clarity on Seven Energy’s post-deal liquidity and financial structure. KEY RATING DRIVERS Developing Natural Gas Business Seven Energy’s management views the natural gas business in Nigeria’s southeast as an important growth driver for the company. In 9M16, Seven Energy’s average deliveries of natural gas reached 80 million cubic feet per day (MMcfpd), up from 64MMcfpd in 9M15. Its gas offtakers include three power stations (Alaoji, Calabar and Ibom), the Unicem cement plant and a fertiliser factory.


In November 2016, Seven Energy completed the 69km Uquo-Creek Town pipeline to supply gas to Calabar and Unicem and signed a USD112m partial risk guarantee with Nigeria’s federal government for gas supply to Calabar and other customers. The company is now on track to ramp up gas sales to 150MMcfpd and beyond. The installation of electricity distribution infrastructure to allow the power stations to run at full capacity has now been completed and Calabar is able to generate additional electricity. The natural gas assets are fully ring-fenced and serve as security for the Accugas IV loan. There is a risk that the lenders may decide to enforce the security, stripping the company of its main cash generating asset and effectively forcing it into liquidation. Strategic Alliance Agreement Halted All Seven Energy’s oil liftings from OML 4, 38 and 41 under the strategic alliance agreement with the state-owned NPDC have been stopped since February 2016, as the Forcados oil terminal remains shut due to the rise in militant attacks.


Management gives no estimate on when Forcados will be restarted and we understand is considering alternative means to export crude. Naira Convertibility Issues Seven Energy’s natural gas revenues are US dollar pegged but are received in naira. We understand from management that there are difficulties in Nigeria regarding exchanging naira into US dollars, which are needed to service the compay’s US dollar debt at the official exchange rate. This negatively affects the company’s liquidity as long as Forcados remains shut, meaning that the company receives no US dollar revenue under the strategic alliance agreement. KEY ASSUMPTIONS – Brent oil price deck of USD44/bbl in 2016, USD45/bbl in 2017, USD55/bbl 2018.

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– SAA’s FCF negative in 2016; turning positive in 2017-2018. – Natural gas sales volumes ramping up to 150MMcfpd a year in 2017 and 2018.

– Proposed restructuring implemented. RATING SENSITIVITIES Future Developments That May, Individually or Collectively, Lead to Positive Rating Action

– The ‘RD’ rating will be reviewed following the financial restructuring once sufficient information is available to reflect the appropriate IDR for the issuer’s post-exchange capital structure, risk profile and prospects in accordance with relevant criteria.

Future Developments That May, Individually or Collectively, Lead to Negative Rating Action – Bankruptcy filings, administration, receivership, liquidation or other formal winding-up procedure affecting Seven Energy would result in a downgrade to ‘D’. LIQUIDITY Limited Liquidity At 30 September 2016, Seven Energy’s cash on hand was USD24m, well short of the USD396m in short-term debt at this date; this amount is prior to ongoing debt renegotiations. In 9M16, Seven Energy used up nearly USD92m in cash due to high capex and interest payments, before new equity raising and debt refinancing.

We understand the company is negotiating to increase the limit of its existing working-capital facility. Contact: Principal Analyst Dmitry Marinchenko, ACCA Associate Director +44 20 3530 1056 Supervisory Analyst Maxim Edelson Senior Director +7 495 956 9901 Fitch Ratings Moscow Valovaya Street, 26 Moscow Committee Chairperson Peter Archbold, CFA Head of EMEA Natural Resources and Commodities Senior Director +44 20 3530 1172 Media Relations: Peter Fitzpatrick, London, Tel: +44 20 3530 1103, Email: Date of Relevant Rating Committee: 1 December 2016 Summary of Financial Statement Adjustments

– We assume USD10m is the minimum amount required for ongoing operations and deduct this from historical and projected cash balance to arrive at readily available cash. Additional information is available on

For regulatory purposes in various jurisdictions, the supervisory analyst named above is deemed to be the primary analyst for this issuer; the principal analyst is deemed to be the secondary. Applicable Criteria Criteria for Rating Non-Financial Corporates (pub. 27 Sep 2016) here Distressed Debt Exchange (pub. 08 Jun 2016) here Additional Disclosures Dodd-Frank Rating Information Disclosure Form here _id=1015781 Solicitation Status here Endorsement Policy here ALL FITCH CREDIT RATINGS ARE SUBJECT TO CERTAIN LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS. PLEASE READ THESE LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS BY FOLLOWING THIS LINK: here. IN ADDITION, RATING DEFINITIONS AND THE TERMS OF USE OF SUCH RATINGS ARE AVAILABLE ON THE AGENCY’S PUBLIC WEB SITE AT WWW.FITCHRATINGS.COM. PUBLISHED RATINGS, CRITERIA, AND METHODOLOGIES ARE AVAILABLE FROM THIS SITE AT ALL TIMES. FITCH’S CODE OF CONDUCT, CONFIDENTIALITY, CONFLICTS OF INTEREST, AFFILIATE FIREWALL, COMPLIANCE, AND OTHER RELEVANT POLICIES AND PROCEDURES ARE ALSO AVAILABLE FROM THE CODE OF CONDUCT SECTION OF THIS SITE. FITCH MAY HAVE PROVIDED ANOTHER PERMISSIBLE SERVICE TO THE RATED ENTITY OR ITS RELATED THIRD PARTIES. DETAILS OF THIS SERVICE FOR RATINGS FOR WHICH THE LEAD ANALYST IS BASED IN AN EU-REGISTERED ENTITY CAN BE FOUND ON THE ENTITY SUMMARY PAGE FOR THIS ISSUER ON THE FITCH WEBSITE. Copyright © 2016 by Fitch Ratings, Inc., Fitch Ratings Ltd. and its subsidiaries. 33 Whitehall Street, NY, NY 10004. Telephone: 1-800-753-4824, (212) 908-0500. Fax: (212) 480-4435. Reproduction or retransmission in whole or in part is prohibited except by permission.

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All rights reserved. In issuing and maintaining its ratings and in making other reports (including forecast information), Fitch relies on factual information it receives from issuers and underwriters and from other sources Fitch believes to be credible. Fitch conducts a reasonable investigation of the factual information relied upon by it in accordance with its ratings methodology, and obtains reasonable verification of that information from independent sources, to the extent such sources are available for a given security or in a given jurisdiction. 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Users of Fitch’s ratings and reports should understand that neither an enhanced factual investigation nor any third-party verification can ensure that all of the information Fitch relies on in connection with a rating or a report will be accurate and complete. Ultimately, the issuer and its advisers are responsible for the accuracy of the information they provide to Fitch and to the market in offering documents and other reports. In issuing its ratings and its reports, Fitch must rely on the work of experts, including independent auditors with respect to financial statements and attorneys with respect to legal and tax matters. Further, ratings and forecasts of financial and other information are inherently forward-looking and embody assumptions and predictions about future events that by their nature cannot be verified as facts. As a result, despite any verification of current facts, ratings and forecasts can be affected by future events or conditions that were not anticipated at the time a rating or forecast was issued or affirmed. The information in this report is provided “as is” without any representation or warranty of any kind, and Fitch does not represent or warrant that the report or any of its contents will meet any of the requirements of a recipient of the report. A Fitch rating is an opinion as to the creditworthiness of a security. This opinion and reports made by Fitch are based on established criteria and methodologies that Fitch is continuously evaluating and updating. Therefore, ratings and reports are the collective work product of Fitch and no individual, or group of individuals, is solely responsible for a rating or a report. The rating does not address the risk of loss due to risks other than credit risk, unless such risk is specifically mentioned. 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