Egyptian builder and fertilizer maker Orascom Construction Industries (OCI) said on Monday it approved the issue of LE 1.65 billion ($289 million) of bonds for purposes including possible acquisitions.
Ninety percent of the issue, which carries an 11.75 percent semi-annual coupon, will be offered via a private placement and the rest to the public.
"I think the bonds will sell very well. In fact, I think they will be oversubscribed. OCI has been a very well-managed company and positive liquidity would reinforce the positive view on the bonds," said Omar Taha, an analyst at Beltone Financial.
The company said it would use the proceeds for general corporate purposes including capital expenditure, possible acquisitions and balance sheet restructuring.
"OCI continues to look for funding for its expansion acquisitions, more specifically in its fertilizer segment," Taha said.
Orascom’s fertilizer arm has annual production capacity of 5 million tons of nitrogen-based fertilizer and 0.24 million tons of melamine in Egypt and the Netherlands.
The company aims to have 8 million tons of nitrogen-based fertilizer capacity by 2012, including 2 million tons at its Algerian complex due to come on stream next year.
Middle East Rating and Investor Service (MERIS) assigned a national scale rating (NSR) of "AA-" grade with a "stable" outlook for both the newly approved bond and the company, OCI added in its statement.
An "AA" grade represents very strong creditworthiness.