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Wellington Airport eyes $100M bond offer

Monday 11th March 2019

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Wellington International Airport is eyeing up a $100 million bond offer as companies continue to take advantage of the cheap money available through the listed debt market. 

The airport operator, which is controlled by Infratil, is considering an 11-year bond offer of $75 million, with oversubscriptions of $25 million. The interest rate on unsecured, unsubordinated bonds would reset at some point. 

ANZ Bank New Zealand has been hired as the offer's arranger, with ANZ, Deutsche Craigs and Forsyth Barr as joint lead managers. First NZ Capital and Hobson Wealth Partners are co-managers for the offer, which is expected to open next week. 

Wellington Airport's debt was $480.6 million at the end of September through a series of retail and wholesale bonds, and an undrawn banking facility. It has $25 million of wholesale bonds maturing in June this year and a further $25 million of wholesale debt coming due in June 2020. 

The airport operator didn't say what the proceeds will go towards, but it has been upgrading its facilities with a transport hub completed last year and the construction of a Rydges Hotel on-site finished last month. 

Plans to extend the airport's runway have been on hold while the Civil Aviation Authority reviews the operator's safety area length requirements, which was deemed to be too short by the Supreme Court in 2017. The CAA is expected to make a decision by the end of May, after which the Environment Court will consider the consent. 

(BusinessDesk)



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