Boardwalk Pipelines LP has proposed an offering ofsenior unsecured notes that would be guaranteed by its parent partnership,Boardwalk Pipeline Partners LP.
The indenture governing the senior notes would allowBoardwalk Pipelines to incur additional debt, most likely senior and secured,according to a May 11 prospectus.
The partnership plans to use the net proceeds from theoffering for general partnership purposes such as growth capital expenditures,repayment of future maturities of long-term debt and additions to workingcapital. Pending these uses, the proceeds may be used to repay borrowings underits revolving credit facility.
S&P Global Ratings assigned a BB+ issue-levelrating to Boardwalk Pipelines' senior notes, one notch below Boardwalk PipelinePartners' BBB- corporate credit rating due to the notes being structurallysubordinate to debt at its operating pipeline subsidiaries.
Fitch Ratings rated the note offering at BBB- and gaveBoardwalk Pipelines a long-term issuer default rating of BBB- with a stablerating outlook. The rating is supported by past and expected future backingfrom the A-rated Loews Corp.,which owns the 2% general partner interest and 50% of the limited partner unitsof Boardwalk Pipelines.
Fitch said Loews has historically shown support forthe partnership, including in 2008 and 2009, when it spent almost $5 billion inpipeline expansion projects.
S&PGlobal Ratings and S&P Global Market Intelligence are owned by S&PGlobal Inc.