Bombardier doubles debt offering to US$2 billion due to strong market conditions

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MONTREAL - Bombardier Inc. says improved debt markets have allowed the transportation giant to raise US$2 billion, nearly two months after it was forced to delay its money-raising effort to help fund a number of development programs led by the CSeries plane.

The Montreal-based company said Thursday that the value of the new senior notes doubled because they were oversubscribed in a show of confidence by the market in its business plan.

It will issue US$750 million of senior notes due 2016 at 4.25 per cent and US$1.25 billion of notes due 2023 at a coupon rate of 6.125 per cent annually.

The issuance is expected to close around Monday.

In mid-November, Bombardier (TSX:BBD.B) was forced to delay its plans to issue US$1 billion of senior notes due in 2020 and 2023 due to a less receptive high-yield market and a ratings downgrade by Standard & Poor's to BB from BB+.

Communications director Isabelle Rondeau said it pulled back because debt capital markets deteriorated significantly before it could finalize a transaction.

But market conditions have since improved.

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services rated the new senior unsecured notes Thursday at BB, the same as Bombardier's corporate credit rating.

It said the money will improve Bombardier's liquidity even though it will result in a "somewhat weaker debt leverage."

The agency said the aerospace and railway manufacturer's US$2.1 billion cash balance as of Sept. 30 was "adequate" and that the debt issuance "will provide more cushion if capital expenditures were to increase due to delays in the CSeries programs."

Bombardier has announced that the first flight of its 110- to 125-seat CS100 CSeries will be delayed six months until June, with entry into service planned a year later.

On the Toronto Stock Exchange, Bombardier's shares gained 10 cents, or 2.56 per cent, to C$4 in afternoon trading Thursday.

Organizations: Bombardier Inc., TSX, Ratings Services Toronto Stock Exchange

Geographic location: MONTREAL

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