Norilsk Nickel, a north Russian nickel and palladium mining and smelting company, is hardly a household name. Yet, the metals giant is making waves in the Russian Eurobond market.
In April, Norilsk launched a successful $750m five-year Eurobond with an annual coupon rate of 4.375 per cent. That made it the largest ever Eurobond transaction by a Russian or CIS non-state owned company made in a deal excluding the US.
Now US investors have been invited to join the party. Last week, the company issued a new placement – a $1bn seven-year Eurobond which is eligible for qualified US investors. In fact, it’s the first time in almost 10 years that Norilsk has offered a debt instrument to investors in the US.
On both deals, Debevoise & Plimpton advised Norilsk, Irish firm Arthur Cox the issuer, and Linklaters the banks – this time round, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays, Citigroup, Société Générale, and Sberbank CIB.
The transaction is a sign of the times. In April 2013 alone Russian corporate issuers, led primarily by metals and mining companies, raised more than $11bn. A year earlier, the Russian Federation issued a $7bn Eurobond – the largest by an emerging markets sovereign since 2000, advised by Linklaters and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton.
The weather might be starting to chill, but the Eurobond market in the region looks set to remain toasty.
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