Vedanta raises $1.7bn, India’s largest ever offshore bond sale

Diversified group Vedanta Resources (LON:VED) announced it has sold India’s largest ever offshore bond, raising $1.7 billion from mostly US and European investors.

The bonds are being offered and sold in two tranches, consisting of $1.2 billion aggregate principal amount of 6% due January 2019 and $500 million aggregate principal amount of 7.125% bonds due May 2023.

This is a landmark transaction for Vedanta, which is joining domestic peers in catching the flood of US dollars being unleashed by central banks.

The amount will be used to partly repay the debt taken for its Cairn India acquisition.

Indian groups have already almost doubled the record full-year amount of debt raised offshore in 2011 when companies raised a total of $3.3bn, according to Financial Times (subs. required). Vedanta issued the previous record deal, which was $1.65bn, in that year.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays, Citigroup, J P Morgan, The Royal Bank of Scotland and Standard Chartered Bank are acting as joint global coordinators, joint lead managers and joint bookrunners and Deutsche Bank are acting as joint bookrunners for the issue.

The bonds, the company said, are expected on the closing date to be rated "Ba3" by Moody's, "BB" by S&P and "BB" by Fitch.

The company, with most of its operations in India, had reported a 21% increase in its core profits at $4.9 billion for the year ended March, 2013.

Vedanta also has operations in Zambia, Namibia, South Africa, Liberia, Ireland and Australia. The group is primarily engaged in copper, zinc, silver, aluminium, iron ore and power business.