Brisbane Airport Corporation Pty Limited (BAC) completed a A$300 million ten year AAA/Aaa credit-wrapped bond, part of a long term program, helping ensure the company can deliver on $2.2 billion of critical airport infrastructure over the next five to seven years.
Following the issue, BAC will have long-term bonds of around $1.4 billion, cash of $100 million and unused bank facilities of $300 million. Gearing remains below 50%.
BAC Chief Financial Officer, Tim Rothwell, said BAC's debt program enables us to meet the challenges of growth, requiring unprecedented investment in roads, runways and terminals. Debt markets are the most difficult they have been for many years and the strong support from BAC's financiers is a result of the strong business case and careful capital management over a number of years and into the future".
Airports are significant pieces of infrastructure requiring careful long term planning. Mr Rothwell stated that BAC has interest rate hedging in place of $1.2 billion through to 2010, $1.5 billion to 2020 and $1.25 billion to 2025 at rates averaging below 6%.
"Brisbane is the fastest growing city in Australia, and the Airport has consistently been the fastest growing over the past decade. BAC recognises that the continued sustainable growth of Brisbane Airport is critical to the State's future, and this 10-year bond issue will help ensure we are able to plan, finance and deliver strategic infrastructure to manage and capitalise on this historic level of growth. This investment, the highest private sector investment in infrastructure in South East Queensland, together with projects already announced by the Queensland Government and Brisbane City Council in surrounding road and other infrastructure, is vital for Australia's fastest growing region."
The FSA credit-wrapped bond issue, which was fully subscribed, was managed by Dexia and TD Securities, who acted as Joint Lead Managers on the transaction.
BAC operates Brisbane Airport under a 99-year lease from the Federal Government. Brisbane Airport is Australia’s third largest airport, handling more than 17.5 million passengers in fiscal year 2007 and has been one of the fastest growing airports in the Asia Pacific region since privatisation in 1997.
BAC is rated Baa1 stable by Moody's and BBB stable by Standard & Poor's.