Unity Media, the German cable television operator, plans to raise €1.35bn of debt in the biggest high-yield bond sale in two months.
The company said on Monday that it planned to issue seven-year bonds denomianted in euros and dollars. The bonds will pay a floating rate of interest and cannot be bought back in the first year.
The issue will be the largest since Ineos, the UK chemicals company, sold €2.4bn of bonds in January, which is the biggest high-yield issue in Europe to date. Since then, the market has not had many large deals to digest.
Unity Media was formed last year by the combination of three German cable operators; Isey, Ish and Tele Columbus. The company, which recently won the rights to screen German football matches and has about 5m subscribers, is owned by a group of private equity companies.
Citigroup, Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs are lead-managing the sale.
Abbey, the UK bank owned by SCH of Spain, has begun roadshows for its new euro-denominated covered bond programme, bankers said on Monday.
The bank is expected to make a benchmark issue, which would mean pricing bonds worth €500m out of a potential €12bn programme after the roadshows finish at the end of the week.
The UK’s financial watchdog recently said it was likely to introduce a regulatory regime for covered bonds at the start of next year, which is expected to help increase issuance.
Covered bonds are seen as less risky than other bonds because they are guaranteed by the issuing bank as well as being secured against assets such as mortgages. They are very popular in Spain, the home of Abbey’s parent, where they are called Cedulas.
The issue, which is being managed by ABN AMRO, Barclays Capital and BNP Paribas, was given triple-A ratings by agencies on Monday.
Absolut, a privately owned Russian bank, is set to make its capital markets debut on Tuesday morning with the pricing of about $150m worth of bonds, according to bankers involved in the sale.
The sale of senior unsecured debt, which is being managed by Merrill Lynch, is expected to be priced to yield 9 per cent, above the projected range of 8.25-8.5 per cent.
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