Moody's would likely lower 's long-term ratings byno more than a notch if DTE completes a planned $1.3 billion of Appalachian midstream assets.
The ratings have been placed on review for downgrade,following the company's announcement to acquire the assets from M3 Midstream and Vega EnergyPartners.
"Although the asset purchase is consistent with DTE'sgrowth strategy andexisting expertise in managing natural gas assets, the revenues associated withthe assets are predominately generated by volume based contracts with naturalgas producers, which tend to be of lower credit quality," Moody's saidSept. 27.
Overall, the midstream assets pose a greater risk than DTE'sother businesses due to having more volatile earnings and cash flow streams,the rating agency noted.
Moody's intends to focus its review on DTE's acquisitionfinancing plan that will initially result in about $1.3 billion of additionalparent company debt.
DTE ratings under review are the junior subordinated regularbond/debenture at Baa1, senior unsecured shelf at (P)A3, subordinate shelf at(P)Baa1, senior unsecured bank credit facility at A3, senior unsecuredcommercial paper at P-2 and unsecured regular bond/debenture at A3.
The rating action does not affect the and 's ratings.