N115bn Issue: BUA completes largest corporate bond

BUA Cement Plc, one of Africa’s largest cement companies, has concluded its N115 billion Series 1 Fixed Rate Senior Unsecured Bond Issue under its maiden N200 billion Bond Issuance Programme.

This makes BUA Cement’s Series 1 bond the largest ever corporate bond issued in the Nigerian debt capital markets and signposts growing investor confidence in Nigeria’s second-largest cement company.

According to the company, an application will be made to dual-list the bonds on the relevant exchanges upon receipt of the necessary approvals.

BUA Cement’s N100 billion Series 1, seven-year issue is priced at a competitive fixed rate of 7.5% and was oversubscribed to the tune of N137.82 billion, just as the company announced that it will only utilise N115 billion in line with regulatory guidelines.

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It added that StanbicIBTC Capital Limited acted as Lead Issuing House/Bookrunner, with UCML Capital Limited and Tiddo Securities Limited, as joint issuing houses/bookrunners.

The N100 billion Series 1, seven-year 7.5% Fixed Rate Bond, due in 2027, was subscribed to the tune of N137.82 billion.

In accordance with Rule 323(21) of the SEC Rules and Regulations, 2013, the Board approved the absorption of excess funds, not exceeding 15% of the offer of N100 billion, which translates to N15 billion and N115 billion in its entirety.

In ratings, the Issuer and the Issue were both assigned “A” rating (stable) by Agusto and “AA-” (stable) by DataPro, based on a stable, qualified, and experienced management team, strong industry potential, strategic market position, low exposure to credit risk, excellent business, and liquidity profile.

An application will be made to dual-list the bond on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) and FMDQ Securities Exchange (FMDQ).

Speaking on the significance and success of the Series 1 Issue, Abdul Samad Rabiu, Chairman, BUA Cement said: “This is the largest corporate bond offering in the history of Nigeria’s Debt Capital Markets.

“Last year, we made a strategic decision as a proudly Nigerian company to list BUA Cement on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. This was in line with our core strategy to continue seeking out viable investment and growth opportunities within Nigeria.

“This bond issuance, a first by BUA Cement, demonstrates our confidence in Nigeria’s debt capital markets as well as continued investor confidence in the BUA Cement business model, our management team, and long-term strategy, all supported by strong credit ratings.

“We remain committed to unlocking opportunities within the industry for Nigeria.”

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In his comments, Engr. Yusuf Binji, Chief Executive Officer, BUA Cement, said that the success of the first series in the BUA Cement Bond Issuance Programme underscored the strength of the BUA Cement brand.

“The transaction, being the largest Corporate Bond issuance in the history of Nigeria’s debt capital markets, reiterates the strength and acceptance of the BUA Cement brand and the trust placed by stakeholders in the Company’s strong cash generation capacity, credit profile and strategy driven by a well-experienced management team.

“Diversifying and extending the duration of our funding sources with the inclusion of this Bond, at a competitive rate, will further enable us to achieve our strategic objectives and vision.”

The BUA Cement Series 1 Bond, which has a three-year moratorium period and to be amortised evenly from year four, is embedded with a call option, exercisable only after 48 months from the issue date.

In another development, BUA recently announced its intention to increase its production capacity to 20 million metric tonnes per annum (mtpa) by 2022.

In addition, its newest three million mtpa plant in Sokoto, currently undergoing construction, is expected to be ready soon.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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