s (NYSE: EPD) (EPOLP) following the announcement that EPOLP will dropdown certain assets to Duncan Energy Partners L.
EPOLP is the operating limited partnership of Enterprise Products Partners, L.
Fitch has affirmed the following ratings of EPOLP with a Stable Outlook:
EPOLP will retain the remaining direct 34% ownership interest in the assets and will continue operating the assets.
Any significant change in the asset characteristics or planned credit profile of DEP, however, could pose a risk to EPOLP, possibly resulting in a change in EPOLP's rating and/or Rating Outlook.
In evaluating the DEP transaction, Fitch's view is that DEP's credit profile will remain largely dependent on EPOLP due to the proposed corporate structure and the joint ownership of the assets at DEP.
In reviewing the overall credit quality of EPOLP, the ratings continue to be supported by the:
EPOLP's financial, structural, and functional ties with EPE and EPCO represent potential rating risks as these entities have weaker credit profiles than EPOLP and they rely entirely on the cash distributions of their operating partnerships.
In the case of financial duress at EPE or EPCO, EPOLP may be called upon (at least indirectly) in the future to meet the financial obligations of these affiliates or be encouraged to adopt operating practices that are inconsistent with the interests of its creditors.
In addition, EPE's debt is expected to be non-recourse to EPD and EPOLP.