MISSISSIPPI POWER COMPANY
MANAGEMENT'S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF
FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
Credit Rating Risk
At September 30, 2017, Mississippi Power does not have any credit arrangements that would require material changes in payment schedules or terminations as a result of a credit rating downgrade.
On October 4, 2017, Mississippi Power executed agreements with its largest retail customer, Chevron, to continue providing retail service to the Chevron refinery in Pascagoula, Mississippi through 2038. The agreements grant Chevron a security interest in the co-generation assets located at the refinery that is exercisable upon the occurrence of (i) certain bankruptcy events or (ii) other events of default coupled with specific reductions in steam output at the facility and a downgrade of Mississippi Power's credit rating to below investment grade by two of the three rating agencies.
There are certain contracts that have required or could require collateral, but not accelerated payment, in the event of a credit rating change to BBB and/or Baa2 or below. These contracts are for physical electricity purchases and sales, fuel transportation and storage, energy price risk management, and transmission. At September 30, 2017, the maximum potential collateral requirements at a rating below BBB- and/or Baa3 equaled approximately $255 million.
Included in these amounts are certain agreements that could require collateral in the event that Alabama Power or Georgia Power has a credit rating change to below investment grade. Generally, collateral may be provided by a Southern Company guaranty, letter of credit, or cash. Additionally, a credit rating downgrade could impact the ability of Mississippi Power to access capital markets, and would be likely to impact the cost at which it does so.
On March 1, 2017, Moody's downgraded the senior unsecured debt rating of Mississippi Power to Ba1 from Baa3.
On March 24, 2017, S&P revised its consolidated credit rating outlook for Southern Company and its subsidiaries (including Mississippi Power) from stable to negative.
On March 30, 2017, Fitch placed the ratings of Mississippi Power on rating watch negative.
On June 22, 2017, Moody's placed the ratings of Mississippi Power on review for downgrade. On September 21, 2017, Moody's revised its rating outlook for Mississippi Power from under review to stable.
In March 2017, Mississippi Power issued a $9 million short-term bank note bearing interest at 5% per annum, which was repaid in April 2017.
In February 2017, Mississippi Power amended $551 million in promissory notes to Southern Company extending the maturity dates of the notes from December 1, 2017 to July 31, 2018. In the second quarter 2017, Mississippi Power borrowed an additional $40 million under a promissory note issued to Southern Company.
In June 2017, Southern Company made equity contributions totaling $1.0 billion to Mississippi Power. Mississippi Power used a portion of the proceeds to (i) prepay $300 million of the outstanding principal amount under its $1.2 billion unsecured term loan, which matures on March 30, 2018; (ii) repay all of the $591 million outstanding principal amount of promissory notes to Southern Company; and (iii) repay a $10 million short-term bank loan.
In August 2017, Mississippi Power repaid a $12.5 million short-term bank note.
In September 2017, Mississippi Power issued a floating rate promissory note to Southern Company in an aggregate principal amount of up to $150 million bearing interest based on one-month LIBOR. Mississippi Power borrowed $109 million under this promissory note primarily to satisfy its federal income tax obligations for the quarter ending September 30, 2017 and subsequently repaid the promissory note upon receipt of its income tax refund from the U.S. federal government related to the settlement concerning deductible R&E expenditures. See Note (G) to the Condensed Financial Statements under "Section 174 Research and Experimental Deduction" herein for additional information.