announced yesterday evening it has placed € 850m 7-year notes with a coupon of 2.5% and € 500m 12-year notes with a coupon of 3.5%.
The notes are issued under the company’s EMTN Programme and will be listed on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange. stated that the proceeds will be used for general corporate purposes. We remind that the company has recently been assigned credit ratings by Moody’s (Baa1) and Standard & Poor’s (BBB+).
had a net debt of about € 8.36bn at year-end 2011 which represents a net debt/REBITDA ratio of 2.2x, which we view as very comfortable in a defensive industry like brewing. Although the short-term debts are relatively limited (€ 532m at year-end 2011) and below the cash and cash equivalents (€ 828m), faces a series of maturities in 2013 (of which the largest are a € 1.3bn unsecured bank loan maturing, a L 0.3bn unsecured bank loan and a € 0.6bn unsecured bond). Yesterday’s notes issues improve the maturity profile of the group, and were done at attractive coupons (well below the 2012 guided average coupon rate of 5.5%, by the way). Good news.
We decided to increase our target price on from € 45 to € 50, obviously not on the back of the attractive notes issuance (which are positive but do not weigh big enough in the valuation exercise), but on our confidence in the ongoing efficiency optimizations at the company, with the planned roll out of the Global Business Services organization (as part of a € 500m savings plan scheduled to yield € 500m per annum by 2014) and the brand & SKU optimization programs in Mexico. BUY maintained.