Air Liquide Finance issued on the 9th of September 2011 a second series of Chinese Renminbi denominated bonds for a total amount of RMB 850 million, equivalent to around €100 million. This second series, combined with the first series of RMB 1,750 million issued on 8 September 2011, allows the Air Liquide Group to raise a total amount of RMB 2,600 million, equivalent to around €300 million.
This is the first time a European issuer reaches this size with such long maturities.
The bonds issued under this second series, fully guaranteed by L'Air Liquide SA, are rated "A" by Standard & Poor's, and were placed with institutional investors, mainly in Asia.
The maturity of the first bonds is September 19, 2016, with a coupon of 3.00%. The maturity of the second bonds is September 19, 2018, with a coupon of 3.95%. The paying format of the two series of bonds is fixed rate, repayment at maturity.
Air Liquide has obtained the approval from the People's Bank of China, the central bank of People's Republic of China, to repatriate the funds into mainland China. Therefore, the bond proceeds will contribute to the financing of the development of Air Liquide's activities in China, by diversifying the Group's funding sources at attractive market conditions. Today, Air Liquide employs 3,500 people in China and operates more than 40 plants in various industrial areas.
The success of this bond issue demonstrates the high level of international investor confidence in Air Liquide's solid financial position. At a time when the Group has a strong portfolio of investment opportunities, especially in Asia, this transaction enables the company to continue to grow over the long term.
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