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FRANCE: Pernod Ricard refinances debt

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Pernod Ricard has taken advantage of upgrades in its credit rating to refinance debt via a US$1.5bn bond issue.

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The Absolut vodka maker said today (21 October) that it has issued the US dollar-denominated bond by way of a private placement to its key lenders. The notes issued, which will mature on 15 January 2022, were almost four times oversubscribed, the group said.

It's a move that is likely to further enhance Pernod's reputation with the major credit ratings agencies. In the past few weeks, both Standard & Poor's and Moody's have nudged Pernod into investment grade territory, although only the condition that it continues to both pay down debt and refinance loans.

Pernod's MD for finance, Gilles Bogaert, said: “We are very pleased with the outcome of this bond issue, which was carried out with particularly attractive financial conditions, only a few weeks after the group’s rating was upgraded to ‘investment grade’ by both Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s. 

"It is in keeping with a proactive management of our financing, particularly in US dollars, which has led to a reduction in bank funding to less than 45% of our debt.” Proceeds from the bond issue will be used to pay off a portion of existing loans.

Yesterday, Pernod beat most analysts' estimates with a strong rise in first-quarter sales.


Sectors: Spirits, Wine

Companies: Pernod Ricard, Ricard, Absolut

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