Fitch Upgrades BTU Rural Electric System Revenue Bonds to 'A+'

Fitch Ratings has assigned an 'A+' rating to the $3 million Bryan, TX Rural Electric System Revenue bond series 2011. The bonds are expected to sell around June 28, 2011. In addition, Fitch has upgraded the $6.05 million outstanding rural electric system revenue bonds series 2008 to 'A+.' BTU will use the 2011 bond proceeds to install advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) to the entirety of the approximately 15,900 rural customers.

In rating the bonds, Fitch noted: "The upgrade reflects strong financials as evidenced by a high debt service coverage ratio, a stable service territory that is increasingly less rural, competitive rates and improving liquidity. The upgrade is further supported by an expected continuance of the strong financial performance over the medium term."

The BTU City system also rated 'A+' and Fitch considers it a positive factor that "although the two systems are separately financed they share the same senior management and all administrative functions." Electricity rates are also a big plus contributing to BTU's high ratings. "Favorably the rural system's rates are one of the lowest in the state and the surrounding area."

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services affirmed its 'A+' standard long-term rating to the bonds and Moody's has affirmed an A2 rating. "We are very pleased," said BTU General Manager, Dan Wilkerson, "that outside rating companies give us such high marks. This recognition is a reflection of all the hard work over many years by our entire staff to make BTU the best possible utility company."

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