Australia’s Fortescue Metals Group raised $2 billion in a heavily oversubscribed bond sale that secures funding to triple its iron ore production to 155 million tonnes a year by mid-2013.
The company had launched the high-yield bond sale in the United States to raise $1 billion, and after being about five times oversubscribed at favourable pricing for the company, it opted to double the raising.
Fortescue’s bond sale comes as companies globally have embarked on a bond issuing spree, raising huge sums at low yields.
Tight loan markets and low yields have made bonds an attractive avenue for companies to raise funds, while investors are seeking yields that are still better than the low rates offered by deposits.
Asia ex-Japan bond issuances by companies and sovereigns have already hit $36 billion this year compared with $76.2 billion for all of 2011, according to Thomson Reuters data.
Interest costs have come down substantially for Fortescue, which started producing iron ore just four years ago, with the new 5-year notes paying an interest rate of 6 per cent a year and 10-year notes paying 6.875 per cent. In 2010 the company had to pay 7 per cent on its 5-year notes.