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Wrightson Finance increases bond sale to $100m

Wednesday 19th November 2008

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PGG Wrightson Finance, the rural financing unit of PGW Wrightson, increased its sale of 21-month bonds to $100 million from $75 million because of strong demand for the debt.

The sale, which is underwritten up to $75 million by manager Forsyth Barr, will pay back $20 million of existing debt and give the firm more diversified funding, according to Mark Darrow, director of financial services.

"There has been a strong expression of confidence in the company, which is very gratifying at a time when many other finance businesses are struggling," Darrow said today.

The bonds pay annual interest of 8.25% or 2.25% over the swap mid rate through until October 2010 and Wrightson retains the right to extend the maturity through to October 2011, in the event the Deposit Guarantee Scheme is extended by the same period.

The firm is currently seeking a credit rating through Standard & Poor's to meet the supervisory requirements of the central bank. It expects "to continue the profitable growth of its lending operations throughout New Zealand, based on the ongoing strength in the rural sector, out strong competitive position and continued support of investors," Darrow said.

Shares of PGG Wrightson were unchanged at $1.47.

By Jonathan Underhill



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