Avista Corp. has increased its revolver to $350 million from $245 million and extended the maturity one year to 2005. Avista's existing line was expiring and the company needed a larger credit line to have maximum liquidity and prepare for adjustments to its natural gas procurement operations, said Diane Thoren, assistant treasurer of Avista.
Avista Energy is the regulated subsidiary of Avista Corp. and currently provides natural gas for the non-regulated subsidiary Avista Utilities. However, last February the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission ordered Avista to move the gas procurement functions from Avista Energy to Avista Utilities for Washington customers. Avista Utilities will now have to procure gas from other providers and will need more cash available for letters of credit. This change will also be extended to Idaho and Oregon, where Avista also operates.
Pricing depends on the company's credit rating. Avista's old facility was priced at LIBOR plus 1 5/8%, but the new facility is priced at approximately LIBOR plus 1 3/8%. The better terms are reflective of an improvement in market conditions and the banks' recognition of the company's enhanced performance, Thoren noted. Avista is rated BBB- by Standard & Poor's and Baa3 by Moody's Investors Service.