Stericycle Inc., the Illinois-based provider of regulated medical waste management services, plans to sell $400 million of debt after July issuance jumped to the highest since March.
Stericycle may sell $175 million of 3.89 percent, seven- year notes and $225 million of 4.47 percent, 10-year debt, the Lake Forest, Illinois-based company said last week in a statement distributed by Business Wire.
Companies sold $90.4 billion of bonds in July, the most since March, when volume totaled $139.8 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Issuers are offering bonds as borrowing costs tumble, said Didi Weinblatt, vice president of mutual fund portfolios at San Antonio-based USAA Investment Management.
“Any corporate treasurer must be in heaven today,” said Weinblatt, who helps oversee more than $44 billion in assets. “There’s a lot of cash on balance sheets right now, but wouldn’t you be projecting out for the next many years and raising money at these low rates? I think I would.”
Absolute yields on investment-grade corporate debt fell 16 basis points last week to 4 percent on July 30, the lowest since March 17, 2004, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s Corporate Master index. The extra yield investors demand to own investment-grade corporate bonds rather than government debt fell 5 basis points in the week to 188 basis points, the index data show.
As borrowing costs drop, returns may not be appealing for investors, Weinblatt said.
“I don’t know if there’s value for us,” she said. “The spreads aren’t that bad but when you look at the absolute yield levels, it’s a little hard.”
Volume on July 30 was $1.45 billion, Bloomberg data show. Noble Group Ltd., the commodities supplier backed by China’s sovereign wealth fund, led issuance, selling $750 million of notes in a two-part offering.
Last week’s sales totaled $22.1 billion, the third consecutive five-day period in which issuance exceeded $20 billion, the data show. Westpac Banking Corp., Australia’s second-biggest lender, sold the most debt in the five days ended July 30 in a $3 billion dollar-denominated issue. Commonwealth Bank of Australia is the nation’s biggest bank.
AT&T Inc. led nonfinancial issuance in the week with a $2.25 billion offering of 2.5 percent, five-year notes, the data show.
Sales of high-yield, high-risk debt jumped to $6.45 billion for the week, the busiest since the five days ended April 30, Bloomberg data show. High-yield, high-risk, or junk, debt is rated below Baa3 by Moody’s and lower than BBB- by S&P.
‘Appetite for New Paper’
“The appetite for new paper is astonishing and indicative of continued bond fund inflows,” Byron Douglass, a senior analyst with Credit Derivatives Research LLC, based in Walnut Creek, California, wrote in a research note last week. “For relative value players, we advise revisiting the secondary market as the aggressive bidding for new issues leaves little value on the table.”
Spreads on junk debt narrowed 2 basis points to 657 basis points for the week, according to the Bank of America Merrill Lynch U.S. High Yield Master II Index. Yields on the debt fell 14 basis points to 8.507 percent, the least since May 5, the index data show. A basis point is 0.01 percentage point.
Stericycle plans to sell debt after receiving informal commitments from 22 institutional investors to buy the securities, it said its statement.
The company plans to issue the securities in October, Stericycle Chief Financial Officer Frank ten Brink said in an earnings call on July 28. Proceeds will be used to repay term debt and a portion of a revolving credit line, he said. The company is unrated by Moody’s Investors Service and Standard & Poor’s, Bloomberg data show.
Issuance may be active in August “if we continue to have reasonably low Treasury yields,” said Jason Brady, a managing director at Thornburg Investment Management in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
“There’s a lot of demand from the investor side for sure,” said Brady, who helps oversee about $57 billion.
Following is a description of at least $7.7 billion of pending sales of dollar-denominated bonds in the U.S.
CREDIT SUISSE GROUP AG, Switzerland’s second-largest bank, is selling $1.5 billion of Tier 1 bonds, according to two people with knowledge of the sale. The notes, callable after five years, will carry a coupon of 7.875 percent, said the people, who declined to be identified because terms aren’t set. Credit Suisse is managing the sale of the bonds, which will be issued through Claudius Ltd, the people said.
DOHA BANK QSC, Qatar’s third-largest bank, may raise as much as $1 billion from bond sales, its chief executive officer said. The money is likely to be raised for five years and is meant to “fix the maturity mismatch” on the bank’s balance sheet, Raghavan Seetharaman said in a June 16 telephone interview from Doha. The bank will sell the bonds by the end of this year in both dollars and the local riyal currency, the CEO said in a July 25 interview. The lender said in April that it planned to sell senior notes in dollars in a statement on the Qatari bourse, without disclosing the size of the offering.
FORETHOUGHT FINANCIAL GROUP INC. plans to sell $150 million of 10-year bonds, according to a person familiar with the transaction, who declined to be identified because terms aren’t set. S&P assigned the notes a grade of BBB- in a March 24 report.
NATIONAL BANK OF EGYPT is marketing $600 million of five- year bonds at a yield of 5.25 percent, according to two people with knowledge of the sale. The notes are being issued through Nile Finance Ltd. Citigroup Inc., Deutsche Bank AG and Morgan Stanley are managing the sale.
OAO GAZPROMBANK, the lending unit of Russia’s gas export monopoly, is selling $500 million of bonds due December 2014 that may be priced to yield 6.25 percent to 6.375 percent, according to two people with knowledge of the sale. Barclays Capital, Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc and UBS AG are managing the sale, which will be issued through GPB Eurobond Finance Plc.
STERICYCLE INC. plans to issue $175 million of 7-year, 3.89 percent notes and $225 million of 10-year, 4.47 percent debt after receiving informal commitments from 22 institutional investors to buy the securities, it said in a statement distributed by Business Wire.
The PROVINCE OF CORDOBA, Argentina, plans to sell as much as $350 million of bonds in international markets once the federal government completes a restructuring of defaulted debt, Banco de Cordoba said. The province hired Citigroup Inc. and UBS AG to arrange an overseas dollar bond sale, said a person familiar with the transaction who declined to be identified because terms aren’t set.
STATS CHIPPAC LTD., the provider of semiconductor test and assembly services, plans to sell $600 million of 5-year senior notes, according to a person familiar with the transaction, who declined to be identified because terms aren’t set. Proceeds will help fund a tender offer, Stats Chippac said in a statement distributed by Marketwire.
ENERGYSOLUTIONS INC., the Salt Lake City-based nuclear services company, plans to sell $300 million of senior unsecured notes due 2018, the company said a July 28 statement distributed by Marketwire. The company has amended its credit facilities and plans to refinance them with borrowings under new loans and the offering of senior notes, the company said in a July 13 statement. Standard & Poor’s assigned the proposed debt a rating of BB- on July 15.
MULTIPLAN INC. may sell $650 million to $675 million of bonds to help pay for its acquisition by BC Partners Ltd. and Silver Lake, according to a person familiar with the transaction. The health-care cost management company also seeks a $1.3 billion term loan and a $75 million revolving line of credit, said the person, who declined to be identified because terms aren’t set.
FERRO CORP. plans to sell $250 million of senior notes as it seeks to repurchase outstanding convertible debt due in 2013. The company also is negotiating with lenders to enter into a new credit facility, according to a statement distributed by Business Wire.
KCA DEUTAG DRILLING GROUP LTD., a unit of private-equity investor First Reserve Corp., is planning to sell $500 million of eight-year bonds through Turbo Beta Plc, according to Alex Christou, an Aberdeen, Scotland-based spokesman for the oil- services company. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is managing the sale with HSBC Holdings Plc, Lloyds TSB Banking Group Plc, Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc and Natixis, a person with knowledge of the transaction said. The notes may be rated CCC by S&P and Caa2 by Moody’s, according to a statement on the company’s website.
MARINA DISTRICT FINANCE COMPANY INC., owner of the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, plans to sell $725 million of senior secured debt in two parts, according to a person familiar with the transaction. The notes will be due in 2015 and 2018, said the person, who declined to be identified because terms aren’t set. Marina District Finance is Boyd Gaming Corp.’s joint venture with MGM Resorts International. Proceeds will be used to repay bank debt and fund a dividend, the person said.
TRILOGY INTERNATIONAL PARTNERS LLC, the wireless communications provider, plans to sell $370 million of senior secured notes, according to Moody’s Investors Service. Moody’s rated the notes Caa1, it said in a report. Proceeds will be used to refinance debt and finance growth in New Zealand, Moody’s said. S&P rated the debt an equivalent CCC+. The notes will have a maturity of six years, according to a person familiar with the transaction, who declined to be identified because terms aren’t set.
UNIVERSAL HEALTH SERVICES INC., the operator of more than 100 U.S. medical facilities that’s buying Psychiatric Solutions Inc., cut its offering of senior unsecured notes to $250 million, according to a person familiar with the transaction. It increased the size of the term loans it’s seeking by $100 million, said the person, who declined to be identified because terms aren’t set. The King of Prussia, Pennsylvania-based company previously planned to issue $400 million of senior unsecured debt to help finance the acquisition, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
E-LAND FASHION CHINA HOLDINGS LTD, the Hong Kong-based apparel products provider, hired Morgan Stanley to help it sell $200 million of three-year bonds, according to a person familiar with the matter. The company plans to begin meeting with investors in Asia, Europe and the U.S. on July 19, said the person who declined to be identified because terms aren’t set. Moody’s Investors Service assigned the proposed notes a Ba2, citing growing personal consumption in China, E-Land Fashion’s moderate scale and significant business volatility. Proceeds will be used for mainly for capital expenditures and general corporate purposes, Moody’s said in the report.
GENTIVA HEALTH SERVICES INC., the U.S. home-nursing company that is buying Odyssey HealthCare Inc., plans to sell $305 million of eight-year notes, the Atlanta-based company said in a May 24 regulatory filing, without specifying the timing of the transaction. Proceeds will be used to help fund the takeover, according to the filing. Standard & Poor’s assigned the unsecured notes a B- credit rating on June 29. Moody’s Investors Service rated the notes a grade of B2 and ranked $925 million of loans three steps higher at Ba2, it said in a report.
Offerings in Pipeline
EMPRESA NACIONAL DEL PETROLEO, Chile’s state-owned oil refiner, hired Bank of America Corp., Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA, BNP Paribas SA and Scotia Capital to arrange meetings with bond investors, according to a person familiar with the matter. The Santiago-based company plans to meet with investors Aug. 2 to Aug. 4, said the person, who declined to be identified because he wasn’t authorized to comment.
UKRAINE may sell bonds in the international capital markets, according to Dragon Capital, the former Soviet republic’s biggest brokerage. The government may sell $1.5 billion to $2 billion of 10-year, dollar-denominated debt with a yield of 7 percent to 7.5 percent after getting approval for a new International Monetary Fund loan and having its credit rating raised by Standard & Poor’s, said Olena Bilan, Dragon’s chief economist, at a press briefing in Kiev on July 30.
IDBI BANK LTD., an Indian state-owned lender, is marketing 5.5-year bonds denominated in dollars that will be priced to yield 310 basis points more than similar-maturity Treasuries, according to a banker involved with the transaction. IDBI hired Barclays Capital, BNP Paribas SA, HSBC Holdings Plc, Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc and Standard Chartered Plc to manage the sale. Executive Director Melwyn Rego said the bank was considering a sale of bonds to raise about $500 million in an interview on July 21.
CZECH REPUBLIC plans to sell as much as $2 billion of dollar bonds to diversify from koruna and euro debt, Eduard Janota, former finance minister, said in an interview for Mlada Fronta Dnes newspaper.
POTASH CORPORATION OF SASKATCHEWAN INC., the world’s largest fertilizer company by capacity, filed a registration statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for $2 billion of debt securities.
INDONESIA plans to name three banks to help it sell approximately $650 million of Islamic bonds in October, Dahlan Siamat, director for Islamic financing at the finance ministry, said in a telephone interview in Jakarta. The government sold its first international Islamic dollar bonds in April 2009.
CORPORACION FINANCIERA DE DESAROLLO SA Peru’s state development bank known as Cofide, plans to sell as much as $250 million of dollar-denominated bonds, according to Chief Financial Officer Carlos Linares. Linares said in an interview in Lima, that the lender is selling long-term debt as it boosts lending to local infrastructure projects. “Peru’s need for infrastructure is huge,” Linares said. “The government is trying to promote foreign investment in a long list of projects.”
SRI LANKA plans to sell dollar-denominated bonds, according to its central bank. The South Asian country’s third-ever overseas offering is likely after August, Central Bank of Sri Lanka Assistant Governor C.J.P. Siriwardena said in a telephone interview on June 30.
JORDAN plans to sell about $500 million of bonds, Finance Minister Mohammad Abu Hammour said in an interview on June 23. The sale will be denominated in U.S. dollars “as it’s a stable currency and the Jordanian dinar is pegged to it,” Abu Hammour said.
URUGUAY may sell as much as $1 billion of bonds in 2011, including $500 million of dollar-denominated debt, Carlos Steneri, director of public credit at Uruguay’s Ministry of Economy and Finance, said June 3 at a LatinFinance conference in London. The dollar-denominated bonds may have a maturity of 20 years or more, Steneri said.
MALAYSIA plans to raise about $1 billion from its first sale of conventional dollar bonds in eight years after drawing bids for five times the Islamic debt it offered, a finance ministry official said. The government may hire the same banks, including CIMB Group Holdings Bhd. and HSBC Holdings Plc, to arrange the sale by Sept. 30, said the official, who declined to be named as the discussions are private. Malaysia raised $1.25 billion from a Shariah-compliant dollar bond on May 27. Malaysia is rated A3 by Moody’s and A- by S&P.
SABIC CAPITAL, a unit of Saudi Basic Industries Corp., will sell bonds when market conditions and rates are favorable, its vice president for corporate finance Mutlaq al-Morished told al- Arabiya television in Dubai on June 16. Sabic delayed a bond sale because of unfavorable spreads, al-Morished said in a May 26 telephone interview. Sabic Capital had hired HSBC Holdings Plc, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc to manage a benchmark-sized offering.
GHANA is considering selling its second dollar bond in 2011 to tap investor demand as the start-up of oil production boosts economic growth and narrows the budget deficit, Deputy Finance Minister Fifi Kwetey said. The government is considering a “no- deal roadshow” as early as the fourth quarter to gauge international investors’ appetite, Kwetey said in a May 26 interview in Abidjan. Ghana sold its first global bond in 2007, raising $750 million to help fund the construction of roads and power plants.
ANGOLA received credit ratings from Moody’s, S&P, and Fitch Ratings that put it on par with Nigeria, Lebanon and Belarus, and paved the way for a planned sale of international bonds. The southern African nation’s creditworthiness was rated at B+ by S&P and Fitch, four levels below investment grade. Moody’s assigned an equivalent ranking of B1.
EURASIAN NATURAL RESOURCES CORP., a London-based iron ore and alumina producer with operations in China and Russia, said it delayed its first dollar bond sale. The company is “postponing meetings with investors regarding a potential bond issuance under its Euro Medium Term Note program until further notice,” Charlotte Kirkham, a spokeswoman for ENRC, said in an e-mail. The company had hired Deutsche Bank AG and Morgan Stanley to manage the sale, according to a person familiar with the transaction.
CHINA ORIENTAL GROUP CO. plans to sell senior notes to provide working capital and possibly to finance the purchase of steel mills and iron ore assets in China. Deutsche Bank AG will manage the sale with ING Groep NV, according to a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange.
BANK FOR INVESTMENT & DEVELOPMENT OF VIETNAM received approval from the central bank to issue 7 trillion dong ($369 million) of notes and another 3 trillion dong of dollar- denominated notes in 2010, according to a statement on State Bank of Vietnam’s Web site.
BOLIVIA plans its first international bond sale in more than 70 years as early as the end of 2011, Finance Minister Luis Arce said. He didn’t disclose the size of the offering.
POWER SECTOR ASSETS AND LIABILITIES MANAGEMENT CORP. of the Philippines may sell between $750 million and $1.5 billion of dollar-denominated bonds “anytime” to help refinance maturing debt, Vice Chairman Jose Ibazeta said. The company manages the finances of state utility National Power Corp.
BRISBANE AIRPORT CORP., owner of Australia’s third-busiest airport, may sell bonds in the U.S. as it pursues new markets to help refinance debt and pay for a new runway. The company is considering a 10- or 15-year U.S. private placement and a five- to seven-year Australian dollar bond sale in late 2010 or early 2011, Chief Financial Officer Tim Rothwell said in a phone interview from Brisbane.
VIETNAM NATIONAL COAL-MINERAL INDUSTRIES GROUP, the state- owned coal producer known as Vinacomin, plans to sell as much as $500 million of bonds overseas to fund mining and energy projects, according to Deputy Chief Executive Officer Nguyen Van Hai.
FINLAND may sell five-year bonds denominated in dollars, the Finnish Treasury said in a document posted on its Web site.
MONGOLIA plans to raise $500 million selling bonds this year and the remainder of a planned $1.2 billion program will be sold according to market conditions, Batbayar Balgan, director general of the financial and economic policy department of Mongolia, said at a forum in Ulan Bator on June 16. The government scaled back its plans for global bond sales after Europe’s debt crisis drove up borrowing costs. Investment banks are advising Mongolia to issue debt with maturities of 5 to 10 years, Bayartsogt said in a Feb. 9 interview. The securities may yield 8 percent to 11 percent, he said.