Fitch Rates Babson CLO Ltd. 2015-II
-- \\$225,000,000 Class A-1 notes 'AAAsf'; Outlook Stable;
-- \\$100,000,000 Class A-2 notes 'AAAsf'; Outlook Stable.
Fitch does not rate the class B-1, B-2, C, D, E, F, or subordinated notes.
Babson CLO Ltd. 2015-II (the issuer) and Babson CLO 2015-II, LLC (the co-issuer) comprise an arbitrage cash flow collateralized loan obligation (CLO) that will be managed by Babson Capital Management LLC (BCM). Net proceeds from the issuance of the secured and subordinated notes will be used to purchase a portfolio of approximately \\$500 million of primarily senior secured leveraged loans. The CLO will have a four-year reinvestment period and a two-year non-call period.
KEY RATING DRIVERS
Sufficient Credit Enhancement: Credit enhancement (CE) of 35% for class A-1 and A-2 (together, class A) notes, in addition to excess spread, is sufficient to protect against portfolio default and recovery rate projections in an 'AAAsf' stress scenario. The degree of CE available to class A notes is lower than the average CE of recent CLO issuances; however, cash flow modeling indicates performance in line with other Fitch-rated 'AAAsf' CLO notes.
'B' Asset Quality: The average credit quality of the indicative portfolio is 'B', which is comparable to recent CLOs. Issuers rated in the 'B' rating category denote a highly speculative credit quality; however, in Fitch's opinion, class A notes are unlikely to be affected by the foreseeable level of defaults. Class A notes are projected to be able to withstand default rates of up to 63.1%.
Strong Recovery Expectations: The indicative portfolio consists of 94.4% first lien senior secured loans. Approximately 85.8% of the indicative portfolio has either strong recovery prospects or a Fitch-assigned Recovery Rating of 'RR2' or higher, resulting in a base case recovery assumption of 75.1%. In determining the class A note ratings, Fitch stressed the indicative portfolio by assuming a higher portfolio concentration of assets with lower recovery prospects and further reduced recovery assumptions for higher rating stresses, resulting in a 36.9% recovery rate in Fitch's 'AAAsf' scenario.
Fitch evaluated the structure's sensitivity to the potential variability of key model assumptions, including decreases in recovery rates and increases in default rates or correlation. Fitch expects the class A notes to remain investment grade even under the most extreme sensitivity scenarios. Results under these sensitivity scenarios ranged between 'A+sf' and 'AAAsf' for the class A notes.