Helix Gen makes loan paydowns after 2020 EBITDA growth, but guidance disappoints

Helix Generation repaid USD 66m in loans during 3Q20, a quarter in which its adjusted EBITDA soared 51% year-over-year, according to two sources familiar with the matter. However, the power company provided guidance that was lower than expected for 2021 and 2022, prompting quotes on its term loans to soften by several points, they added.  

For the quarter ended 30 September, EBITDA totaled USD 74m, compared to USD 49m in 3Q19, the sources said. Revenue jumped to USD 153m for the quarter from USD 98.7m for the prior-year period, due to higher realized capacity prices in New York’s Zone J.  

The company retired USD 15m of its revolver and USD 51m of its term loan during the quarter, bringing its total debt paydown for the year to USD 80m, they added.  

The company is guiding to USD 185m-USD 188m in adjusted EBITDA for the full year 2020, compared to USD 89m in 2019, the sources said. 

But looking ahead, capacity prices are expected to decrease over the next two years, underpinning Helix’s guidance for 2021 adjusted EBITDA to decline to USD 159m (midpoint), and then erode further to USD 133m (midpoint) in 2022, the sources said.  

Helix’s USD 820m Libor+ 375bps due 2024 fell as low as 94.589/95.786 on 15 December, from levels at 99.269/99.885 on 2 December before the company reported earnings and released guidance, according to Markit. The loan has recovered slightly and is quoted in the 95.014/96.139 context today.  

As of 30 September, the company was 5.5x levered, given USD 155m of LTM adjusted EBITDA and USD 853m in total debt.  

Liquidity at quarter-end totaled roughly USD 77m, considering USD 70m of revolver availability and USD 7m of cash.  

LS Power did not respond to a request for comment. 

2020 Debtwire

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