Pernod Ricard seeks to cement investment grade rating

Pernod Ricard seeks to cement investment grade rating

Pernod Ricard is seeking to cement its investment grade credit rating by refinancing US$2.5bn of debt.

The Absolut vodka maker said today (6 January) that it will sell US$2.5bn-worth of bonds. The sale will consist of $850m of fixed-rate notes due in 2017, $800m of fixed-rate notes due in 2022 and $850m of fixed-rate notes due in 2042.

"The transaction will enable the group to benefit from very favourable issue conditions, to extend the maturity profile of its debt and to prepay a significant part of its bank debt under the group’s syndicated credit agreement," the company said. It expects the bond issue to complete on 12 January. 

The deal should improve Pernod's investment grade profile, something that the firm has labelled as a key goal in its current fiscal year. In September and October, ratings agencies Moody's and Standard & Poor's tentatively lifted Pernod to investment grade.

In October, Pernod sold $1.5bn of debt via a private placement with its key lenders.