Last week, J. Lauritzen A/S issued NOK 500 million of 5-year senior unsecured bonds in the Oslo market, which were largely placed in Denmark to a mix of institutional and retail clients, reflecting the company’s base. With a corporate rating of B+ by both lead arrangers, the bonds were priced at NIBOR + 8.25%. While the official use of proceeds is for general corporate purposes, the company is clear that they are in the process of raising funds to build a war chest and prepare for growth.
Last week, Golar LNG Partners LP issued NOK 1.3 billion of five-year floating rate Senior Unsecured Bonds, also at the wide end of the expected range of NOK 1 to 1.3 billion. Distribution of this issue was broader geographically, likely reflecting its size and sector, and included both institutional and retail accounts. Pricing of the bonds was also at the wide end of the range at NIBOR + 5.20% as opposed to 5.00%.
Back in May, Aker Solutions ASA, a leading global provider of engineering and construction services, technologies, product solutions and field-life solutions for the oil and gas industry, went to market with a NOK 1.5 billion Senior Unsecured Floating Rate Open Bond issue. The term of the issue was five years and the bond was priced at NIBOR + 4.25%. Last week, the company returned this time with a 7-year NOK 1 billion senior unsecured bond, which amount was at the wide end of the range with one of the longer tenors available.
It just can’t be Oslo 100% of the time. Dollar denominated offerings, especially, require a broader market reach and so, in the case of the Floatel International Ltd.’s 5-year $200 million senior secured 2nd lien bond, purchasers were largely outside of Scandinavia, although there was some interest there as well. Moreover, as this transaction was highly structured, interest was mainly institutional. With a shadow rating from Nordea of B/B-, the bonds were sold at par with an 8.00% coupon which was at the tight end of the expected range of 8.00-8.75%.
Last week, Teekay Corporation successfully sold NOK 700 million of three year floating rate Senior Unsecured Bonds, which was at the wide end of the offering range of NOK 500-700 million. With an expected range of 3-month NIBOR + [450-475] bps, the bonds priced also at the wide end at 475 bps. As is typical with NOK issues, purchasers were largely Scandinavian but, in this instance, largely institutional, reflecting perhaps the “foreign” issuer. The proceeds of the offering will be used for general corporate purposes.
On Monday, Hoegh LNG Holdings Ltd successfully placed its NOK 750 million 5-year senior unsecured bond offering. Oversubscribed, the offering sold at the wide end of the expected range of NOK 500 million to NOK 750 million. As is typical, investors were mainly Scandinavian, with a good mix of institutional and retail purchasers. With shadow ratings for the company and the bond of mainly B+/B, the bonds were priced for sale at par with a floating rate of 3-month NIBOR + 6.00%. The company intends to swap the obligation from NOK to USD and from floating to fixed rate.
Was our prediction last week a self-fulfilling prophecy? The fact that the Norwegian bond summer hiatus has ended is no surprise. Money is moving from stocks into high-yield given the better returns and less volatility than the former offers. Stolt-Nielsen Limited (“Stolt-Nielsen”). wasted no time raising NOK 500 million from its two existing tap issues and another NOK 500 million in a new 7-year bond issue for a total of NOK 1 billion.
Last Friday, Odfjell SE, with joint managers, DNB Markets, Nordea Markets and Swedbank First Securities opened the books for a new issue of NOK 500 to 750 million of senior unsecured bonds thinking they would have an early start for an application period that was to extend through the following Tuesday. Fortunately, they planned for an early close, as they had more than they needed allowing them to shut the books at 4PM with NOK 600 million of bonds subscribed which was a level the company was more than satisfied with.
It was the big one and it wasn’t high yield! A.P. Moller – Maersk A/S came to Oslo last Thursday looking to issue five-year floating rate senior unsecured bonds. Unusually, no specified amount was mentioned and the company was undecided on a maximum amount although it reserved the right to close the books if the amount exceeded NOK 2.5 billion. Well they blew through that number selling NOK 3 billion ($520 million) of these bonds at par. It is likely one of the biggest corporate NOK deals done.
Back in June of last year, Stolt-Nielsen Limited went into the market, essentially as a new offeror, with a five-year senior unsecured bond offering of the equivalent of $200-$300 million, which was originally contemplated to be split between a Dollar tranche and a Norwegian Krone tranche in order to attract a broader range of investors. While there was a great deal of interest in the transaction, it was mainly generated from Scandinavia and the terms were adjusted accordingly.