Wienerberger AG, the world's biggest brickmaker, plans to sell €400 million ($517 million) of so-called hybrid bonds to pay off maturing debt, according to Thomas Melzer, investor relations officer at the Vienna-based company.
Hybrid bonds are securities that combine elements of equity and debt. Wienerberger's bonds will be undated and the company will have the right to buy them back after 10 years, Melzer said. Wienerberger AG hired Deutsche Bank AG, Dresdner Bank AG and Erste Bank to manage the sale, Melzer said. The company expects to sell the bonds after meetings with investors starting in Vienna on January 19.
Moody's Investors Service rates the company Baa2, the ninth-highest investment grade. Standard & Poor's rate it an equivalent BBB. The rating companies are likely to grade the bonds two levels lower, Melzer said, at Ba1 and BB+, the highest non-investment grade ratings. The bond sale is subject to market conditions, Melzer said. The company named a new finance chief, Willy van Riet, in December, replacing Hans Tschuden, who went to Telekom Austria AG. (Bloomberg)