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Infratil to raise $150M in bond offer, eyes Pac Hydro

Infratil follows Z exit with $150M bond offer as it targets Pacific Hydro

By Paul McBeth

Oct. 1 (BusinessDesk) - Infratil, the Wellington-based infrastructure investor, has followed its exit from Z Energy with a bond issue to raise as much as $150 million as it looks to buy Australian renewable energy firm Pacific Hydro.

The investment firm, managed by HRL Morrison & Co, is selling $100 million of eight-year infrastructure bonds paying annual interest of 5.25 percent, with oversubscriptions of up to $50 million, it said in a statement. The bond issue follows Infratil's sale of 20 percent Z Energy for $479.2 million, of which the investor will book a profit of $392 million.

Infratil said the proceeds of the sale will go towards general corporate purposes. In a separate notice, the company said it was participating in the sales process of Melbourne-based renewable energy group Pacific Hydro, whose assets were valued at A$1.9 billion as at Dec. 31, 2014 based on publicly available information.

"The sales process is contested and the date for submission of final bids has not yet been confirmed, but in any event is expected to be at least several weeks away," Infratil said. "Infratil has not decided whether to submit a final bid, and there is no certainty that any bid will be successful."

In announcing its exit from Z earlier today, Infratil chief executive Marko Bogoievski said the company was still a supporter of the petrol station chain and its proposed acquisition of Chevron New Zealand, but that "the current market provided an opportunity for a clean exit and the flexibility to recycle capital into new growth opportunities."

Infratil released revised guidance for the year ending March 31, 2016, to reflect the loss of earnings from its share of Z. Forecast earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortisation and fair value changes are cut to a range of $500-$530 million from a previous range of $520-$550 million. Operating cash flow is now expected to be $250-$280 million from $270-$300 million.

Following the sale of its Z stake, Infratil's net debt is about $310 million, made up of $989 million of infrastructure bonds, other drawn debt of $74 million and cash of $753 million.

Infratil shares fell 0.8 percent to $3.035, and have increased 3.3 percent this year.


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