News Column

Fitch Rates Cutwater 2014-I, Ltd./LLC

July 31, 2014

CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Fitch Ratings assigns the following ratings to Cutwater 2014-I, Ltd./LLC (Cutwater 2014-I):

--$216,600,000 class A-1a notes 'AAAsf'; Outlook Stable;

--$45,000,000 class A-1b notes 'AAAsf'; Outlook Stable.

Fitch does not rate the class A-2, B, C, D, E or subordinated notes.

TRANSACTION SUMMARY

Cutwater 2014-I, Ltd. (the issuer) and Cutwater 2014-I, LLC (the co-issuer) represent an arbitrage cash flow collateralized loan obligation (CLO) that will be managed by Cutwater Investor Services Corp. (CISC). Net proceeds from the issuance of the secured and subordinated notes will be used to purchase a portfolio of approximately $400 million of leveraged loans. The CLO will have a four-year reinvestment period.

KEY RATING DRIVERS

Sufficient Credit Enhancement: Credit enhancement (CE) of 34.6% for class A-1a and A-1b (together, class A-1) notes, in addition to excess spread, is sufficient to protect against portfolio default and recovery rate projections in the 'AAAsf' stress scenario. The level of CE for the class A-1 notes is below the average for recent CLO issuances.

'B/B-' Asset Quality: The average credit quality of the indicative portfolio is 'B/B-', which is in line with that of recent CLOs. Issuers rated in the 'B' rating category denote relatively weak credit quality; however, in Fitch's opinion, the class A-1 notes are unlikely to be affected by the foreseeable level of defaults. The class A-1 notes are robust against default rates of up to 61.7%.

Strong Recovery Expectations: The indicative portfolio consists of 97.2% first lien senior secured loans. Approximately 91.9% of the indicative portfolio has either strong recovery prospects or a Fitch-assigned recovery rating of 'RR2' or higher resulting in a base case recovery assumption of 76.5%. In determination of the class A-1 notes rating, Fitch stressed the indicative portfolio by assuming a higher portfolio concentration of assets with lower recovery prospects and further reduced recovery assumptions for higher rating stress assumptions. The analysis of Cutwater 2014-I class A-1 notes assumed a 35.6% recovery rate in Fitch's 'AAAsf' scenario.

RATING SENSITIVITIES

In addition to Fitch's stated criteria, the agency analyzed the structure's sensitivity to the potential variability of key model assumptions including decreases in weighted average spread or recovery rates and increases in default rates or correlation. Fitch expects the class A-1 notes to remain investment grade even under the most extreme sensitivity scenarios. Results under these sensitivity scenarios ranged between 'Asf' and 'AAAsf' for the class A-1 notes.

The sources of information used to assess these ratings were provided by the arranger, Natixis Securities Americas, and the public domain.

Key Rating Drivers and Rating Sensitivities are further described in the accompanying new issue report, which will be available shortly to investors on Fitch's website at 'www.fitchratings.com'.

For more information about Fitch's comprehensive subscription service FitchResearch, which includes all presale reports, surveillance and credit reports on more than 20 asset classes, contact product sales at +1-212-908-0800 or at 'webmaster@fitchratings.com'.

Additional information is available at 'www.fitchratings.com'.

Applicable Criteria & Related Research:

--'Global Structured Finance Rating Criteria' (May 20, 2014);

--'Global Rating Criteria for Corporate CDOs' (July 25, 2014);

--'Criteria for Interest Rate Stresses in Structured Finance Transactions and Covered Bonds' (Jan. 23, 2014);

--'Counterparty Criteria for Structured Finance and Covered Bonds' (May 14, 2014).

Applicable Criteria and Related Research:

Counterparty Criteria for Structured Finance and Covered Bonds

http://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=744158

Global Structured Finance Rating Criteria

http://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=748821

Global Rating Criteria for Corporate CDOs

http://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=753057

Criteria for Interest Rate Stresses in Structured Finance Transactions and Covered Bonds

http://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=725537

Additional Disclosure

Solicitation Status

http://www.fitchratings.com/gws/en/disclosure/solicitation?pr_id=843262

ALL FITCH CREDIT RATINGS ARE SUBJECT TO CERTAIN LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS. PLEASE READ THESE LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS BY FOLLOWING THIS LINK: HTTP://FITCHRATINGS.COM/UNDERSTANDINGCREDITRATINGS. IN ADDITION, RATING DEFINITIONS AND THE TERMS OF USE OF SUCH RATINGS ARE AVAILABLE ON THE AGENCY'S PUBLIC WEBSITE 'WWW.FITCHRATINGS.COM'. PUBLISHED RATINGS, CRITERIA AND METHODOLOGIES ARE AVAILABLE FROM THIS SITE AT ALL TIMES. FITCH'S CODE OF CONDUCT, CONFIDENTIALITY, CONFLICTS OF INTEREST, AFFILIATE FIREWALL, COMPLIANCE AND OTHER RELEVANT POLICIES AND PROCEDURES ARE ALSO AVAILABLE FROM THE 'CODE OF CONDUCT' SECTION OF THIS SITE. FITCH MAY HAVE PROVIDED ANOTHER PERMISSIBLE SERVICE TO THE RATED ENTITY OR ITS RELATED THIRD PARTIES. DETAILS OF THIS SERVICE FOR RATINGS FOR WHICH THE LEAD ANALYST IS BASED IN AN EU-REGISTERED ENTITY CAN BE FOUND ON THE ENTITY SUMMARY PAGE FOR THIS ISSUER ON THE FITCH WEBSITE.



Fitch Ratings

Primary Analyst

Aaron Hughes

Director

+1-312-368-2074

Fitch Ratings, Inc.

70 West Madison Street

Chicago, IL 60602

or

Secondary Analyst

Cristina Feracota

Associate Director

+1-312-606-2300

or

Committee Chairperson

Derek Miller

Senior Director

+1-312-368-2076

or

Media Relations

Sandro Scenga, New York, +1 212-908-0278

sandro.scenga@fitchratings.com

Source: Fitch Ratings


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