Emirates, the Dubai-based international airline announced today (Wednesday, 10th March) that its debut Eurobond issue is being launched at US$500 million. The issue will be a Floating Rate Note (FRN) with a tenure of seven years, pay a margin of 0.80 per cent over six months US$ Libor and be listed in Luxembourg.
This is the largest ever unrated Eurobond issue by an airline and also the largest ever unsecured issue by a corporation within the GCC region of countries.
The airline says response to the issue has been extremely positive and Emirates has been able to achieve a wide geographical spread of investors, with over a quarter from Europe/Asia and more than half from outside of the United Arab Emirates, where the world’s fastest growing inter-continental airline is based.
The bond achieved a new source of funding for Emirates with around two thirds from new investors.
The airline’s initial target was US$400m through this bond issue but it increased the final amount to US$500 million to satisfy investor demand.
The Joint Lead Managers of the issue are HSBC, Emirates Bank International, National Bank of Abu Dhabi and National Bank of Dubai. HSBC is acting as sole global coordinator of the issue..
The size and pricing of the issue have been finalised as a consequence of a book building exercise undertaken alongside a series of roadshows and investor presentations made in London and the Middle East by senior members of the Emirates Management team.
HH Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Emirates Group, said: “We are gratified by the investors’ response to our first offer in the international debt capital markets, which testifies to their confidence in Emirates’ financial performance. It is evident that our consistent profitability and sound management are recognised.”
On behalf of the Joint Leads, David Moleshead, Managing Director, Debt Finance & Advisory, Middle East, HSBC said: “We congratulate the management of Emirates in their vision and commitment in bringing the airline to the international capital markets.”