Gold Fields upgrades balance sheet with $1bn in new bonds

GOLD Fields has raised $1bn in two new bonds, a development that is part of its stated efforts this year to improve its credit profile.

The bonds consist of a $500m, five-year instrument which carries a coupon of 5.125% and a $500m, 10-year bond with a coupon of 6.125%. The average coupon is 5,625%. As a demonstration of interest in the company’s credit worthiness, Gold Fields said the final combined book for the bond issue was more than $3bn.

The proceeds will be used to repay amounts outstanding under the $1,29bn Credit Facilities Agreement and refinance or repurchase certain other existing indebtedness, or for general corporate purposes, the company said.

In addition, Gold Fields also announced a tender offer for up to $250m of the outstanding 4.875% 2020 bonds at a price of 102%.

“As published in our 2018 Integrated Annual Report, one of Gold Fields financial targets in its 2019 Balanced Scorecard is to improve the liquidity and profile of the group’s debt,” it said in an announcement.

“This entails both reducing net debt and extending the maturity of the debt profile. The bond issue extends and spreads out the maturity of the debt profile,” it added.

Gold Fields said in April that it had locked in production of about two million ounces of gold a year from its international and African (non-South African) mines, an announcement that effectively sees the fruits of more than $500m in investment. It also said last month it would develop the $834m Salares Norte, a new project in Chile that it might decide to joint venture in order to spread the financing load.

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