South Jersey Industries, an energy services holding company, and South Jersey Gas Company put in place $140 million in credit facilities in order to improve the company's liquidity, said David Kindlick, South Jersey Gas' v.p., treasurer and cfo. "We've never had a liquidity issue," he said, but explained that Moody's Investors Service was looking to put out liquidity analyses on companies and South Jersey wanted to improve its position.
The company is rated BBB/Baa2. A spokeswoman for Moody's explained that the ratings service has selectively been releasing liquidity risk assessments on companies since the Spring of 2002. It is a commentary that is released on a company-by-company basis, she said, adding that there was not a published liquidity risk assessment released on South Jersey as of last week. "We wanted to stop any concern before it materialized," Kindlick explained.
The credits, which mark the company's debut syndicated facility deal, consist of a three-year, $100 million revolver at the South Jersey Gas level and a 364-day, $40 million revolver at the South Jersey Industries level. Kindlick explained that since South Jersey Gas is a regulated company, its financing agreement had to be explicitly separate from South Jersey Industries' credit agreement.
Wachovia Securities is administrative agent on the deals, while Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania, J.P. Morgan and PNC Bank hold co-syndication agent titles. Bank of New York, FleetBoston Financial and Sun National Bank are also lenders, he added. Pricing for both credits is in the LIBOR plus 7/8% range.