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Contact mulls $225m bond issue to refinance upcoming maturity

Contact Energy, the second biggest listed power company on the New Zealand stockmarket, is looking at issuing a $225 million retail bond to help refinance $534 million of maturities coming next May.

The Wellington-based company is considering an exchange offer to existing holdings of the 2009 bonds which mature on May 14, 2014, as well as a general offer to existing and new investors, it said in a statement. The company raised US$240 million in a wholesale bond issue to US investors in June to help refinance the 2014 retail bond, which hadn't been drawn on, at its balance date of June 30.

Forsyth Barr has been appointed arranger of the offer, which is expected to open in late February.

In October, Contact embarked on a buyback programme for its 2015 bond, using existing cash and banking facilities to do so.

Contact shares slipped 0.2 percent to $4.93 today, and have slipped 5 percent this year.

(BusinessDesk)

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