Russia's Polyus launches $250m bond offering

MOSCOW, Jan 19 (Reuters) – Leading Russian gold producer Polyus said on Friday it would issue $250 million worth of bonds, with the proceeds of the sale mainly going towards refinancing its debt.

The offering is for senior unsecured guaranteed convertible bonds with a maturity of January 2021, the company said, adding that it expected them to carry a coupon of between 0.50 and 1.00 percent per annum, paid semi-annually in arrears.

The pricing is expected later on Friday. The conversion price is expected to be set at a premium of between 30 and 35 percent to the reference priceā€, Polyus said.

The company's shares rose 2.5 percent following news of the bond issue, before falling back to 4,328 roubles ($76.48), a five-day low.

Though posting strong results in the previous quarter and raising its 2018 gold production forecast, Polyus has had an uneasy few months.

November saw the arrest in France of Suleiman Kerimov, the tycoon whose family owns the business, on tax evasion charges.

This was followed closely by a decision to scrap plans to sell a 10 percent stake in the company to China's Fosun , ending more than a year of negotiations.

The new bond issue is intended to help refinance some of the company's $3.08 billion debt.

($1 = 56.5925 roubles)

(Writing by Polina Ivanova; Editing by Gareth Jones)