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Moody's affirms EPP rating

Moody's affirmed EPP NV's corporate family rating at Ba1, with a stable outlook.

The rating agency said that the real estate company's strong portfolio of large shopping centers spread across major Polish cities and well-positioned within their catchment areas supports its Ba1 rating.

Several other factors support the rating, including a long-dated debt maturity profile with no refinancing needs until 2021 and Moody's-adjusted fixed-charge coverage, which is expected to be above 3x over the next 18 months.

Moody's said the strengths are offset by various factors, such as a lack of full property management control over the company's M1 portfolio and the €410 million Galeria Mlociny Warsaw shopping development, as well as an over-reliance on secured debt, and few tangible unencumbered assets.

The stable outlook factors in the rating agency's expectation that EPP will keep generating stable cash flow while retaining high occupancy levels and a balanced growth strategy, and its assumption that EPP maintains good liquidity at all times amid a favorable operating environment.