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Chorus gets new $250M facility to push out debt maturity

Chorus gets new $250M bank facility to push out debt maturity

By Paul McBeth

Aug 2 (BusinessDesk) - Chorus, the telecommunications network operator, has signed up to a new $250 million banking facility that will use to push out its debt maturity.

The new facility with its existing lending syndicate Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, HSBC, and Westpac Banking Group will mature in 2019, and “will be used to pay down drawings under its existing bank facility,” the Wellington-based company said in a statement. Its existing syndicated banking facility is made up of two $675 million tranches, with one set to mature in November 2015 and the other in November 2017.

“We appreciate the support of the small group of banking partners who put the facility in place despite the ongoing uncertainty we are experiencing in the current regulatory environment,” chief financial officer Andrew Carroll said. “As well as enabling us to extend our debt maturity profile, the new facility will provide additional financial flexibility as Chorus continues to invest heavily in New Zealand’s fibre future through the UFB rollout.”

Chorus has been beset with regulatory uncertainty since the Commerce Commission last year outlined plans to regulate pricing of unbundled bitstream access services over the ageing copper lines took it by surprise.

The shares rose 2.6 percent to $2.77 today, and have lost 8.2 percent this year.


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