Ayala Corporation commences today its public offer of P10-billion 15-year corporate bonds due 2027. This would be the first corporate bond in the domestic capital market with a 15-year tenor. Bonds bear an interest rate of 6.875 per cent per annum.
Ayala is raising funds for its capital requirements to enable the company to realize opportunities for expansion both through organic growth of its existing business lines as well as value-accretive acquisitions. This includes opportunities presented by various domestic infrastructure projects. The company recently won the bid for the Daang Hari connector road under the government’s public private partnership program. It also recently forged an agreement with the Metro Pacific group to jointly pursue and develop light rail transit projects in Metro Manila. Part of the proceeds of the bond offer will also be used to prepay the company’s debt.
Ayala Corporation treasurer Ramon Opulencia noted, “We always ensure that we maintain a highly flexible funding position at the holding company level that will allow us to invest in sizable projects without impeding other value-enhancing initiatives we are currently undertaking. The low-interest rate environment and the robust liquidity in the system provide an ideal environment for us to be able to stretch our tenors and match the anticipated long gestation period of the investments that Ayala envisions.”
Ayala has been a consistent and innovative issuer in the domestic capital market over the past few years. It has pioneered investment products in the local market that provided the broader investing public, particularly retail investors, with alternative investment choices. In May 2011 Ayala raised P10 billion through a bond offering that was the first to provide investors with multiple put options. One of its landmark capital market deals, among others, was a local currency denominated hybrid shares launched in 2006 which had a follow-on offer in 2008.
Ayala Corporation’s balance sheet remains strong. It ended 2011 with a very healthy cash position and a low gearing level with net debt to equity ratio of 0.24 to 1.
This year’s P10-billion bond offer will be offered to the public through the mandated underwriters, namely, BPI Capital Corp., BDO Capital & Investment Corp., First Metro Investment Corp., Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corp., ING Bank Manila, RCBC Capital Corp., SB Capital Investment Corp., and Standard Chartered Bank.
The bonds will be listed in the Philippine Dealing and Exchange System (PDEX) on May 11, 2012.