Dubai's DP World plans to raise $1 billion with a convertible bond issue of 10 years duration on Thursday to fund growth opportunities and diversify its funding sources, the Dubai-based ports operator said in a statement.
The issue is a rare example of an international convertible bond from a Middle Eastern issuer, but comes at a time of spiking convertible issuance among European corporates.
DP World's debut convertible issue is expected to pay a coupon in a range of 1.5 to 2 percent, and will have a conversion premium between 35 and 40 percent above the reference share price, the bourse filing said.
The reference price will be set according to the volume-weighted average price between the start and close of trading of DP World shares on Thursday. At 0730 GMT, the shares were trading down 3.75 percent at $19.25.
The company can buy back the bonds after three years, should the DP World share price be 30 percent above the value of the reference share price or if more than 85 percent of the bonds have been converted by investors. Investors can have the company buy back the bonds at years four and seven.
The last major convertible bond sold by a Gulf company was in May 2013 when National Bank of Abu Dhabi completed a $465 million, five-year convertible that was later raised to $500 million. Pricing came with a 1 percent coupon and a 30 percent conversion premium.
However, a number of European corporates have issued convertibles in the last two weeks, including French telecommunications firm Alcatel-Lucent, Swiss duty free group Dufry, and French oil and gas group Maurel & Prom.
JP Morgan is acting as the global coordinator for DP World's convertible sale and Citigroup, HSBC and UBS are classed as joint bookrunners.
(By Archana Narayanan)