Thursday 19 July 2018

Eir taps the bond market for another €200m

The sale further consolidates Eir's shareholder base
The sale further consolidates Eir's shareholder base
Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

Eir has gone to the market with a deal to replace €200m of costly senior debt with new, cheaper bonds for the second time in a matter of weeks.

The company said yesterday that it has launched a "tap" or add-on of €200m to an existing bond due to be repaid in 2022.

The new debt carries a coupon of 4.5pc, but is expected to place at a premium so the confirmed yield will be above 4pc. That is well below the 9.25pc coupon, or interest repayment, on Eir's existing senior debt facilities, part of which will be retired from the proceeds of the new issue.

In a similar deal in June Eir tapped the bond market for €500m - 42pc more than the €350m it originally sought - as investor demand boosted the size of an earlier bond.

Eir confirmed yesterday that on June 29, GIC the Singaporean sovereign wealth fundhad completed its purchase of 960,169 shares and 31,212 warrants of eircom Holdco SA, the ultimate parent of the Irish telecoms provider.

GIC paid €230m for the shares, which gives it a 16.3pc stake in the business.

New York-based Anchorage Capital Group remains the largest shareholder with 36.4pc of its equity.

The sale further consolidates Eir's shareholder base, which at one stage included upwards of 200 investors following a debt for equity rescue deal for the business.

In a trading update for the three months to the end of June 30, Eir reported that positive momentum of the last four quarters continued, with an estimate for "low single digit" revenue growth compared to 2015.

Irish Independent

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