Empresas Lipigas S.A. successfully completed its first placement of bonds in the local market for a total of 3.5 million UF (approximately USD 140 million). The funds raised will enable the gas company to refinance its long-term debt according to the development of its investment projects and to diversify its funding sources.
The transaction, advised by LarrainVial as structuring and placement agent and BCI as placement agent, took place this Thursday, April 23, through the placement of Series E bonds with a term of 25 years with bullet amortization, at a rate of 3.40%, representing a spread of 177 points over the benchmark rate. The issue has a risk rating of AA, and AA- according to Humphreys and Feller Rate, respectively. The demand for acquiring these bonds was 1.7 times greater than that of the offer available and, included the participation of a diversified basis of investors, including pension funds, insurance companies, among others.
Angel Mafucci, general manager of Empresas Lipigas, emphasized on local investors’ interest to participate in this process. “The success of this bond placement recognizes the experience, development and projection of Empresas Lipigas. With this step we are preparing for the Company’s future growth, developing large projects, responding to current market challenges”, Mafucci said.
On the other hand, Sebastián Cereceda, Corporate Finance Manager of LarrainVial, said “the positive results of this operation responded to the Company’s leadership in the LPG distribution industry, its stable cash flows and solid results, factors rendering market confidence. We are very proud of having supported the debut of Empresas Lipigas in the local capital market through its first placement of corporate bonds”.
This step marks a new milestone in the history of Empresas Lipigas, after its registration with the Chilean Superintendence of Securities and Insurance last February. With this bond placement, the Company consolidates the financing structure of its latest projects: the expansion of operations to Colombia and Peru, the entrance in the commercialization of liquefied natural gas and the construction of facilities for the importation of product by sea through the terminal of Quintero, which meant an investment of more than US$60 million and which already has been operating for one month.
This new infrastructure, will allow the Company to import from the international market through direct purchases, without intermediaries, approximately 250 thousand tons of liquefied petroleum gas per year. Consequently, the Company will be moving forward in competitiveness and independence and, at the same time, it will contribute to increase LPG sea imports and storage capacity by 50% in the central zone of Chile.
Empresas Lipigas – controlled by the Yaconi, Santa Cruz, Noguera, Vinagre and Ardizzoni families – leading the Chilean LPG industry through the largest network of nationwide coverage, servicing residential, industrial and real estate sectors as well as vehicular gas from Arica to Coyhaique. It is present in the distribution market of liquefied gas in Colombia since 2010 and in Peru since 2013.