Wyndham Worldwide Corp. said it completed a term securitization transaction involving the issuance of $350 million of investment-grade ABS notes called Sierra Timeshare 2010-2 Receivables Funding.
The deal comprised $286 million of single-A rated and $64 million of triple-B rated vacation ownership loan backed notes with coupons of 3.84% and 5.31% respectively. The advance rate for this transaction was 83.25%.
"This transaction reflects the continuing signs of strength in the asset-backed securities market, evidenced by higher advance rates and the ability to issue subordinated bonds at attractive financing rates," said Tom Conforti, executive vice president and chief financial officer, Wyndham Worldwide. "We are pleased with the execution of this transaction, which demonstrates continued investor interest and support of our timeshare business and strong receivables profile."
Wyndham's offering was privately placed. It could turn out that more securitizations will have to take this route with the adoption of the Financial Reform Bill.
The consumer ABS space is facing an uphill struggle as it comes to terms with the overall implications of the U.S. Financial Reform bill's Rule 436(g), which exposes rating agencies to potential liability under Section 11 of the Securities Act of 1933.
As a result, Moody's Investors Service, Standard & Poor's, Fitch Ratings, and DBRS have asked issuers to stop including their ratings on the deals' offering documents.
The SEC has granted the market a six-month reprieve, although ABS analysts have said that it is likely that the recent letter granting issuers the right to structure deals without ratings for public market issuance is only a temporary measure and that the SEC is likely to enforce the new rule after that date.
The six-month period will nonetheless allow ABS issuers that have a pipeline of loans to securitize to move ahead with deals and at the same time gives the market some time to better understand the new rule.
"Ultimately, whether or not rating agency personnel need to provide written consent before a deal may be registered with the SEC, it is likely that given the looming uncertainties, issuance will decrease further over the near term from its already muted pace," JPMorgan Securities analysts. "While we might expect that some of the first upcoming deals may be privately issued as a 'safety precaution,' the type and amount of issuance over the longer-term will depend on how [the rule] is ultimately interpreted."