Heartland to repay Wrightson bond, contemplates another issue

Heartland New Zealand will repay the $92.3 million owing on PGG Wrightson Finance's (PWF) unsecured bonds on October 10 from cash reserves.

Monday, October 10th 2011, 6:00AM

by Jenny Ruth

Heartland bought the finance company on August 31.

Heartland treasurer Craig Stephen says given Heartland's strong liquidity at present, it doesn't need additional funding.

However, because of significant interest from investors, including the existing PWF investors, in a further bond, Heartland is currently contemplating a replacement unsecured bond issue and has mandated Westpac as arranger and Westpac and Bank of New Zealand as joint lead managers to advise it, Stephen says.

Heartland wants to retain a diversified funding mix and provide quality product to its investors, he says.

Heartland, which has a "BBB-" credit rating from Standard & Poor's, had $678 million in liquidity at August 31, up from $547 million at June 30 ahead of the takeover.

Of that, $298 million was cash, $200 million was unused bank lines and $180 million was unutilised securitisation facilities.

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