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Alcatel to raise up to €1bn

03 сентября 2009

Telecoms equipment supplier Alcatel-Lucent said it plans to raise up to €1bn ($1.4bn) by issuing convertible bonds to help it refinance its debt, pushing its shares lower on Wednesday.

The company initially said it would launch a €750m bond, but raised the amount to €870m following better-than-expected demand.

The joint lead managers and bookrunners have an additional option to increase the bond issue to €1bn by September 8, Alcatel-Lucent added in a statement.

Shares in the company were 8.5 per cent lower at €2.334 in morning trading, the worst performers on a 0.8 per cent weaker French benchmark CAC 40 index.

The volume on Alcatel shares represented 190 per cent of the stock’s 90-day daily average.

Traders attributed the drop to some investors selling the shares to acquire the bond.

The bond issue had been expected by some analysts, while Alcatel-Lucent executives had floated the idea earlier in the year. It is seen by some as a positive move for Alcatel-Lucent because it puts the group on a sounder financial footing.

”This will alleviate investor worries about the balance sheet,” said one London-based analyst.

Alcatel-Lucent carries about €4bn in long-term debt. It also has large pension obligations from the former Lucent, which it funds in accordance with US pension laws.

The new bonds will bear interest at a rate of between 5 per cent and 5.5 per cent per year payable semi-annually in arrears on January 1 and July 1 of each year, starting January 1 2010, the company said.

”The principal purpose of the offering is to contribute to the refinancing of the group’s debt and the extension of its maturity, and, secondarily, to further enhance the group’s financial position,” Alcatel-Lucent said.

Separately, South Korean media reported Alcatel-Lucent was among the candidates shortlisted to buy Nortel Networks Corp’s stake in LG-Nortel.

Alcatel-Lucent declined to comment on the report.

Canada-based Nortel is selling assets after filing for bankruptcy earlier this year and has already auctioned off its lucrative CDMA wireless business.


Источник: Financial Times

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