Agencies Release Metropolitan Airports Commission Credit Ratings Ahead of Bond Issuance

Agencies Release Metropolitan Airports Commission Credit Ratings Ahead of Bond Issuance

August 17, 2023

MAC maintains 'AA-' senior lien rating and is assigned 'A+' subordinate lien rating from Fitch and S&P – both with stable outlook – in advance of $167M bond refunding

Two major international credit rating companies assigned and affirmed credit ratings for the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) in advance of an anticipated bond issuance later this year.

The MAC, which owns and operates Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) and six general aviation airports in the Twin Cities, plans to issue approximately $167 million in subordinate airport revenue refunding bonds to secure interest savings on existing debt. The MAC currently has $518 million of outstanding senior airport revenue bonds and $987 million of outstanding subordinate airport revenue bonds.  

S&P Global Ratings assigned an 'A+' long-term rating with a stable outlook to the MAC’s 2023A (non-AMT) subordinate airport revenue refunding bonds and 2023B (AMT) subordinate airport revenue refunding bonds. Fitch Ratings also assigned an 'A+' rating with a stable outlook.

Both agencies affirmed their 'AA-' ratings on the MAC’s existing senior airport revenue bonds and 'A+' ratings on the MAC’s subordinate airport revenue bonds.

“The MAC’s bond ratings demonstrate our financial stability as we move further beyond the deepest impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Brian Ryks, CEO of the MAC. “The assessments validate our operational growth outlook, which is anchored in providing exceptional airport experiences so Minnesota thrives.” 

In its report, S&P Global Ratings pointed to the MAC's strong management, governance, and enterprise and financial risk profiles as the basis for its ratings. It also noted MSP’s limited competition and dominant role in the region, with a large origin and destination (O&D) base serving a healthy and expanding metropolitan area. Fitch noted key drivers for its ratings are MSP’s strong air trade service area, a stable and increasing enplanement base, and sizable O&D traffic.

The MAC is operating with a $3.5 billion capital improvement program through 2029, which is funded by bond issuances, passenger facility charges, grants and other resources.