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Air NZ considers $75m bond offer

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 30/09/2016 Sophie Boot

Air New Zealand is considering a $75 million retail bond offer next month to partially repay the upcoming maturity of an existing note.

Full details of the offer will be released prior to the week beginning Oct. 10, when the offer is expected to open, Air New Zealand said in a statement. The bonds would be unsecured and unsubordinated.

The airline has appointed Bank of New Zealand and Deutsche Craigs as joint lead managers, and Craigs Investment Partners as the organising participant. Investors can register their interest but no money is currently being sought.

The money raised would be "used for general corporate purposes including partial repayment of Air New Zealand's existing bonds maturing on Nov. 15, 2016," the company said.

Air NZ has $150m of bonds listed on the NZX paying annual interest of 6.9 per cent, which last traded at a yield of 4.3 per cent.

Last month, the country's largest airline warned of an earnings drop ahead due to growth in international carriers also wanting to cash in on New Zealand's tourism boom while fuel prices remain low.

Air New Zealand reported record financial results for the year ended June 30 with earnings before other significant items and tax up 70 per cent to $806m, while pre-tax profit rose 40 per cent to $663m, and operating revenue increased 6.2 per cent to $5.2 billion.

The airline forecast that increased competition was likely to see operating earnings drop in a range of $400m to $600m in 2017.

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