CHILE: D&S supermarket group to issue US$130m in bonds
Distribucion y Servicios (D&S), Chile's biggest supermarket chain, is to issue US$130m in bonds, according to details submitted by the company to Chile's Exchange and Securities Commission (SVS).The company will use the capital raised by the bonds to consolidate current debts under more favorable conditions and finance future projects, D&S Finance Manager Miguel Nunez Sfeir said.The company has approximately US$300m in debts, mostly long-term. Of these debts, around US$80m is in foreign currency and the company aims to convert these into Chilean pesos.D&S will issue four series of bonds, two for six-year periods and two for 22-year periods. None of the bonds will be transferable into shares. Interest payable on the six-year and 22-year bonds will be 7% and 6.5% respectively.The six-year bonds will be redeemed in a single payment in the bond's final year, while the 22-year bonds will be redeemed in 32 six-monthly payments, starting in the bond's seventh year.This announcement comes as D&S's nearest competitor, Santa Isabel, ups its attempts to dominate the supermarket sector. Santa Isabel has a 12.1% market share since acquiring the AGAS chain at the beginning of October and recently announced its intentions to expand further.D&S is completing the final upgrades on two of its supermarkets in Santiago, costing between US$3.5m and US$4m each, and these will resume trading in November. The company will upgrade a further 12 to 15 outlets over the next two to three years, and confirmation of these projects will be issued in the next two months. Between US$100m and US$120m has been earmarked for future investments.
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