Sunday, July 14, 2024
HomeBusinessWhiskey maker Suntory sells $500 million bond in rare deal

Whiskey maker Suntory sells $500 million bond in rare deal

Suntory Holdings has priced a $500 million bond, making the renowned whiskey maker one of the few non-financial Japanese companies to tap the U.S. currency debt market this year.

Proceeds from the Jim Beam owner’s five-year loan will be used for general corporate purposes, including debt repayment, according to a person familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified. Suntory has a $500 million note maturing in October.

Spreads on Suntory’s new dollar bond, which sold at 77 basis points on Wednesday, narrowed after the sale and traded below 70 basis points, according to traders.

Japanese companies tend to issue foreign currency debt when investing in assets or buying companies abroad. Examples in recent years include Seven & I Holdings and Takeda Pharmaceutical.

But the yen’s plunge to its weakest against the dollar since 1990 has dragged down Japan’s bond sales abroad this year due to rising borrowing costs in home currency terms. Dollar bond issuance as of Tuesday had fallen by almost a third this year to $22.2 billion, the slowest annual start in four years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

That’s in stark contrast to the U.S. and European primary markets, where selling has risen as investors look for higher yields before central banks start cutting rates.

Suntory is trying to expand abroad as Japan’s population declines. The Wall Street Journal reported this weekend that the company was in talks to acquire Boston Beer, the American brewer behind the Samuel Adams brand. Suntory denied the report.

Suntory’s premium Japanese whiskey supplier said in November that production could increase in 2027 as it increases capacity to meet growing global demand.

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