Business news from Ukraine

METINVEST REPAYS PART OF DEBT OF $75 MLN AHEAD OF SCHEDULE

Metinvest B.V. (the Netherlands), the parent company of Metinvest mining and metallurgical group, has reduced its debt on pre-export financing by $75 million, to $406 million by early repayment of part of this debt.
According to the company’s press release, this move exempts Metinvest from scheduled payments of the principal amount over the next few months, which will provide greater financial flexibility for the group during the period of lower steel prices.
“This payment is the planned use of part of net proceeds from the recent issue of bonds denominated in two currencies, which was made to extend the maturity of the group’s eurobonds and received significant support from the global community of investors and the leading European financial institutions,” the press release reads.
As reported, in April 2018 Metinvest refinanced $2.271 billion in debt, issuing two tranches of bonds in the amount of $1.592 billion and received a pre-export credit line of $765 million. This is Metinvest’s largest issue of eurobonds with the lowest coupon so far and the longest maturity. It is also the largest issue of eurobonds in the Ukrainian corporate sector. The deal received significant support from the global community of investors and the leading European financial institutions. The joint managers of the transaction were Deutsche Bank, ING Bank (both London branches), Natixis (France), and UniCredit Bank (Germany).

UKRAINIAN METINVEST RAISES $350 MLN

Metinvest has completed a deal on the repurchase of $440 million eurobonds with a maturity in 2023 out of a total issue of $944.515 million through the placement of two new issues of eurobonds: $500 million due in 2029 and EUR 300 million due in 2025. The group’s debut two-currency offer, consisting of tranches denominated in U.S. dollars and euros, helped to effectively extend the maturity of $440 million 2023 eurobonds out of the amount of $944.515 million by six and a half years, while the net proceeds from the transaction amounted to approximately $350 million, the company said last week.
According to the Irish Stock Exchange, the new securities (in U.S. dollars with a coupon of 7.75% per annum and in euros with a coupon of 5.625% per annum) were admitted to circulation on October 17.
Metinvest said on the stock exchange that the total applications for the repurchase of eurobonds 2023, which were also issued with a coupon of 7.75%, amounted to $639.886 million.
As reported, the company held meetings with investors in the United States, the United Kingdom and continental Europe from September 18 to 27. The purpose of the offer is proactive management of debt repayment, extension of debt repayment terms and reduction of refinancing risks, Metinvest said.

IRON ORE MINES OF UKRAINE’S METINVEST INCREASE OUTPUT IN JAN-SEPT 2019

Iron ore mines run by Ukraine’s Metinvest raised output in January-September 2019. An industry source told Interfax that Northern Mining (Pivnichny GOK) produced 6.542 million tonnes of merchant iron ore pellets in the 9M, up 1% year-on-year, including 422,000 tonnes in September; and 9.147 million tonnes of iron or concentrate, up 13.4%, including 923,000 tonnes in September.
Central Mining (Central GOK) raised merchant pellet output 0.1% in 9M 2019 to 1.779 million tonnes and concentrate 1.8% to 3.259 million tonnes, including respectively 209,000 tonnes and 390,000 tonnes in September.
Inhulets Mining (INGOK) reduced concentrate output 0.9% in 9M to 8.351 million tonnes, including 918,000 tonnes in September.
The vertically integrated Metinvest’s main shareholders are System Capital Management (SCM, 71.24%) and Smart Holding (23.76%).

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METINVEST MINING AND METALLURGICAL GROUP PLACES $500 MLN EUROBONDS

Metinvest mining and metallurgical group has placed 10-year $500 million eurobonds at 7.95% per annum and five year EUR 300 million eurobonds at 5.75% per annum, a source in banking circles has told Interfax-Ukraine.
The total demand for both tranches amounted to more than $1.1 billion in U.S. dollar equivalent.
The benchmark yield on bonds in U.S. dollars was 7.75-7.99% per annum, in euros – 5.75% per annum.
Metinvest held meetings with investors in the United States, the United Kingdom and continental Europe from September 18 through September 27.
Metinvest said on Tuesday that its offer of September 17 for a cash buyback on the amount of $440 million from $944.515 eurobonds due in 2023 with 7.75% coupon as part of the new bond issue was answered by holders of $639.391 million eurobonds.
According to the terms of the offer, other eurobond holders can still apply for redemption until October 15, inclusive, but they will no longer receive a 3% premium for early applications.
“The purpose of the offer is the proactive management of debt repayment, extending the maturity of the debt and reducing refinancing risks,” Metinvest said.
The buyback price for those who agree to sell before September 30 is 106% of the face value plus accrued interest. The results of the offer are to be summarized on around October 16 in order to carry out all settlements on October 17.

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METINVEST MINING AND METALLURGICAL GROUP ON OFFER FOR BUYBACK OF EUROBONDS GETS BIDS FOR $639.4 MLN

Metinvest Mining and Metallurgical Group, which on September 17 announced an offer to buy back $440 million eurobonds from the $944.515 million issue with maturity in 2023 and a 7.75% coupon and issue new bonds, has received bids for buyback from eurobond holders for $639.391 million. “The estimated scaling factor is approximately 71.265%,” Metinvest reported on the Irish Stock Exchange. According to the terms of the offer, other eurobond holders can still apply for redemption until October 15, inclusive, but they will no longer receive a 3% premium for early applications.
“The purpose of the offer is the proactive management of debt repayment, extending the maturity of the debt and reducing refinancing risks,” Metinvest said.
The buyback price for those who agree to sell before September 30 is 106% of the face value plus accrued interest.
The pricing of new eurobonds is preliminarily scheduled for October 1, the results of the offer are summarized on around October 16 in order to carry out all settlements on October 17.
A source in banking circles told Interfax-Ukraine that Metinvest had held meetings with investors in the United States, Great Britain and continental Europe from September 18 to September 27. The organizers are Deutsche Bank, Natixis and UniCredit. The company intends to place dollar-denominated eurobonds with a maturity of eight to ten years, and will also consider the possibility of a tranche in euros for five to seven years.

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FITCH AND S&P UPGRADE STEEL COMPANY METINVEST RATINGS

Fitch Ratings has upgraded Ukrainian integrated steel company Metinvest B.V.’s (Metinvest) Long-Term Local- and Foreign-Currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) and senior unsecured bonds to ‘BB-‘ from ‘B+’. The Outlook is Stable.

“The upgrade follows Ukraine’s Country Ceiling upgrade to ‘B’ from ‘B-‘on 6 September 2019. The IDR of Metinvest remains two notches above the Country Ceiling,” Fitch said in a report.

Fitch said that this happened due to its comfortable hard-currency (HC) external debt service coverage, and also its ‘BB’ category business and financial profiles.

In addition, S&P Global Ratings raised Metinvest’s issuer credit rating and its issue ratings on the existing notes to ‘B’ from ‘B-‘. The Outlook is Stable.

S&P said that the Ukrainian steel maker Metinvest has built a track record of balanced financial policy in the past 18 months, with relatively low gearing and positive free cash flow, supporting an adequate spending between growth and shareholder returns.

The two agencies also assigned preliminary ratings to senior unsecured notes of at least $500 million proposed by Metinvest to issue at once after purchase for cash up to $440 million notes in circulation: Fitch – ‘BB-(EXP),’ and S&P – ‘B.’

“The proposed senior unsecured notes of at least $500 million will smooth the maturity profile and strengthen liquidity,” S&P said.

Fitch expects Metinvest’s HC external debt service cover ratio to be comfortable at above our 1.5x threshold on a 18-month rolling basis, allowing the company’s IDR to remain two notches above Ukraine’s ‘B’ Country Ceiling . The top line of the ratio is mainly comprises substantial export EBITDA, aided by abroad EBITDA and cash. The bottom line of the ratio represents HC debt service, comprising principal repayments and interest payments, which are fairly smooth over 2019-2022. The company faces a $945 million notes maturity in 2023 but this would be addressed by the upcoming notes issue, which will improve HC external debt service coverage for 2023.

Fitch said that since the last rating action in April 2019 we have revised Metinvest’s full-year EBITDA down to slightly above $1.5 billion in both 2019 and 2020 and slightly under $1.5 billion in 2021 and 2022, reflecting sharper-than-previously expected price contraction across the steel value chain.

Fitch said that Metinvest is an important eastern European producer of metal products (8.8 million tonnes in 2018) and iron ore (27.3 million tonnes of concentrate and pellets in 2018), with around 300% self-sufficiency in iron ore but only 40%-45% in coking coal.

“The steel segment’s proximity to Black Sea and Azov Sea ports allows the company to benefit from both cheaper steel exports and seaborne coal imports logistics. The operations are also further integrated into downstream operations in Italy, Bulgaria and the UK. Partial integration into key raw materials and exposure to high value-added products help Metinvest mitigate but not avert steel market volatility,” Fitch said.

Fitch said that the conflict in eastern Ukraine continues to pose risks to day-to-day operations. Metinvest’s exposure to the risks of conflict escalation remains high relative to its EMEA peers, although Fitch admitted that most of its 1H19 EBITDA is generated by its mining assets located substantially farther from the conflict zone.

S&P expects that the company will maintain an adjusted funds from operations (FFO) to debt of 35%-40% in 2019 and 2020, well in the range commensurate with the current ‘B’ rating (20%-40%), with a positive discretionary cash flow (free cash flow after capex and dividends).

“We believe that the current market conditions will have a mixed impact on the company’s results in 2019,” S&P said.

“We expect Metinvest to benefit from the abnormal iron ore and pellet prices. Under our calculations, the EBITDA would need to fall to about $1.1 billion in 2020, compared with $1.5 billion-$1.7 billion in our base case, before witnessing a pressure on the rating,” S&P said.

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