Mumbai: A unit of India’s Essar group has raised about Rs43 billion ($920 million) via zero-coupon bonds, two sources with direct knowledge of the transaction said on Thursday.
“ETHL Communications Holdings Ltd sold bonds maturing in July 2011 at a yield of 9.15% and bonds maturing December 2011 at a yield of 9.25%,” a source said. The bonds are rated ‘AAA´ by Fitch Ratings.
“The amount raised is based on the $923 million put,” the source added.
The bonds are backed by receivables under a put option agreement for Essar’s 10.97% equity stake in Vodafone Essar. Fitch said Vodafone’s obligations in the put option linked the credit of the bonds to that of the British telecom firm.
The issue had aimed to raise at least Rs22.5 billion and had an unspecified greenshoe option.
Barclays is the lead arranger to the transaction. The other arrangers are Deutsche Bank, JPMorgan and Standard Chartered.
ETHL Communications holds part of the Essar Group’s minority stake in Vodafone Essar Ltd, India’s third-largest mobile operator. Vodafone Essar is majority owned by Britain’s Vodafone Plc.