PPC preparing market return with 1Q €300-400m bond issue

The main power utility PPC is planning a return to capital markets with a bond issue expected to range between 300 and 400 million euros in the first quarter of 2019, signalling a return to normality.

The power utility has already hired a financial consultant, now establishing contacts with prospective international investors.

Confirming that the issue’s preparations have reached a far more advanced stage than has been believed until now, PPC’s chief executive Manolis Panagiotakis, speaking yesterday at the Hellenic-American Chamber of Commerce, noted progress in talks with investors.

However, Panagiotakis also pointed out certain investment funds appear unwilling to participate in the forthcoming bond issue due to environmental reasons, not financial. PPC’s portfolio is heavily reliant on lignite-related assets.

The power utility’s first-quarter bond issue will be planned to precede the maturity date of a May, 2014 bond issue and could be staged in London. According to current estimates, the issue’s interest rate is expected to be set below 5 percent, possibly less than 4.5 percent.

The issue’s precise date will depend on an anticipated credit rating upgrade expected at PPC. Standard and Poors has noted a Greece upgrade would prompt a matching upgrade for state-controlled PPC.