Abertis' priority debt ratio is slightly less than 50%

We take into consideration Abertis' capital structure, which 
consists of €7.3 billion of unsecured debt issued by Abertis and Abertis 
Infraestructuras Finance and €10.9 billion of debt issued by its operating 
subsidiaries. The affirmation of the issue ratings reflect:

  • The priority debt ratio is slightly less than 50%. In calculating this ratio, we exclude Abertis' project finance debt, which we view as legally nonrecourse and believe will not be consolidated in a bankruptcy. This includes project finance transactions in Italy, Brazil, Chile, and Puerto Rico.
  • In addition, we believe Abertis' geographic diversification may improve the prospect of residual value for the holding company's creditors because each subsidiary (Sanef in France, Arteris Group in Brazil, Abertis Autopistas in Chile, and a number of concessions in Spain) could retain value differently, based on their distinct businesses or location.
  • Therefore, geographic diversification mitigates subordination risk according to our methodology, and a more liberal priority debt ratio may be applied to reflect the potential benefit. We might lower the ratings on Abertis' debt, due to subordination risk, if the priority debt ratio exceeds 75%.
  • We therefore rate Abertis' unsecured debt at 'BBB', the same as the corporate credit rating.