DBRS Confirms BPO at Pfd-3(low)

As noted by Assiduous Reader stusClues DBRS has announced that it:

confirmed Brookfield Property Partners L.P.’s (BPP) Issuer Rating and Senior Unsecured Debt rating at BBB (low). DBRS Morningstar also confirmed the ratings on Brookfield Property Finance ULC’s Senior Unsecured Notes and Brookfield Office Properties Inc.’s Senior Unsecured Notes at BBB (low) and Brookfield Office Properties Inc.’s Cumulative Redeemable Preferred Shares, Class AAA at Pfd-3 (low). All trends are Stable. The ratings are based on the credit risk profile of the consolidated entity, including BPP and its subsidiaries (collectively, BPY or the Partnership).

The confirmations and Stable trends consider strong operating results in BPY’s core retail and LP investments segments (i.e., hotels), headwinds facing the office sector, the current elevated interest rate environment and BPY’s variable rate debt exposure, and the recent reorganization of Brookfield Corporation (Brookfield) and other recent transactions whereby BPY acquired LP interests in several real estate funds and other investment interests for $3.1 billion through the issuance of junior preferred shares of Brookfield BPY Holdings Inc. and a non-interest-bearing note. The Stable trends also consider DBRS Morningstar’s resulting updated expectations for BPY’s financial risk metrics. DBRS Morningstar expects that in the near to medium term, BPY will operate with total debt-to-EBITDA and EBITDA interest coverage in the mid-15 times (x) range and 1.1x range, respectively.

The ratings continue to be supported by (1) BPY’s market position as a preeminent global real estate company; (2) high-quality assets, particularly BPY Core Office and Retail segment, with long-term leases to large, recognizable investment-grade-rated tenants; (3) superior diversification, in particular by property, tenant, and geography; and (4) DBRS Morningstar’s view of implicit support from Brookfield. The ratings continue to be constrained by BPY’s weak financial risk assessment as reflected by both its highly leveraged balance sheet (total debt-to-EBITDA of 17.0x for the last 12 months ended December 31, 2022 (LTM)) and low EBITDA interest coverage (1.29x LTM); a riskier retail leasing profile in terms of lease maturities and counterparty risk relative to BPY’s Core Office segment; a higher-risk opportunistic Limited Partnership Investments segment composed primarily of hotel, office, retail, and alternative assets; and DBRS Morningstar’s assessment of the unmitigated structural subordination of the Senior Unsecured Debt at the BPP level relative to a material amount of debt at its operating subsidiaries.

DBRS Morningstar would consider a negative rating action should BPY’s total debt-to-EBITDA not improve as expected such that it remains above 16.0x, or if BPY’s EBITDA interest coverage deteriorates more than expected such that it declines below 1.0x, on a sustained basis, all else equal, or if DBRS Morningstar changes its views on the level and strength of implicit support provided by Brookfield. On the other hand, DBRS Morningstar would consider a positive rating action should DBRS Morningstar’s outlook for BPY’s total debt-to-EBITDA improve to 13.0x or better.

Affected issues are BPO.PR.A, BPO.PR.C, BPO.PR.E, BPO.PR.G, BPO.PR.I, BPO.PR.N, BPO.PR.P, BPO.PR.R and BPO.PR.T.

BPO issues have been absolutely hammered in the past three months, as discussed in the post The Woes of BPO.

I don’t usually report confirmations … but on this one I’m making an exception!

One Response to “DBRS Confirms BPO at Pfd-3(low)”

  1. […] It will be remembered that BPO’s preferreds are guaranteed by BPY, its parent. The issues remain at Pfd-3(low) by DBRS. […]

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