Pernod Ricard completes EUR1bn bond issue

Pernod Ricard completes EUR1bn bond issue

Pernod Ricard has refinanced a portion of its debt by completing a EUR1bn (US$1.38bn) bond issue.

The French wine and spirits group said this week that it has successfully-placed a six-year, EUR1bn bond with a range of qualified investors, predominantly based in Europe.

"The net proceeds of the issue will be used to redeem part of the group’s syndicated loan, thus extending the maturity profile of its external debt," said Pernod.

"The transaction enabled the group to benefit from improved funding conditions currently available in the capital markets, while further diversifying its funding sources through a rebalancing of its mix of bank loans and bond debt."

The group has made cutting debt a major focus since it acquired the owner of Absolut vodka, Vin & Sprit, for EUR5.6bn in 2008. Pernod finished calendar 2010 at a debt to EBITDA ratio of 4.5 times, and is aiming for a ratio of around 4 times by the end of its next fiscal year, to the end of June 2012.