Future Retail to raise up to $500 million through dollar bonds

Future Retail. Photo: Indranil Bhoumik/Mint

Mumbai: Kishore Biyani’s Future Retail Ltd on Saturday said that its board has approved a fundraising plan to raise up to $500 million through dollar denominated bonds, the company said in a filing with stock exchanges.

“Further to the decision taken in the Board meeting held on 12th October, 2019, the Board has reconsidered the various funding options for the acquisition of the retail infrastructure assets and found it more efficient to fund the same through the USD denominated borrowings and accordingly, approved raising of long-term funds for the company subject to the applicable regulatory approvals and market conditions, through the offer, issue and of allotment of senior, secured USD-denominated notes for an aggregate amount not exceeding $500 Million to be issued in one or more tranche(s), to one or more eligible lenders/investors,” the stock exchange filing said.

Mint first reported on 13 December that Future Retail was planning to raise debt through dollar bonds and had appointed four investment banks to advise it on the fundraise.

On 12 October, the company’s board of directors had approved the acquisition of retail infrastructure assets of Future Enterprises in one or more tranches, through direct purchase, acquisition through slump sale or any other mode as mutually acceptable between the two firms. These retail assets are valued at around 4,000 crore.

The restructuring will save Future Retail about 650 crore of lease rental payments annually, thus bringing down the company’s debt to Ebitda ratio from 2.4 times as of fiscal year 2019 to about 1.5 times by April 2021 and less than 0.2 times in the next three years, resulting in stronger operating cash flows and sustained Ebitda growth.

The decoupling would help reduce inter-corporate linkages between entities of the Future group, simplifying its structure. It would also result in cessation of the corporate guarantee of about 3,600 crore from Future Retail to the lenders of Future Enterprises.

Future Retail operates Biyani’s popular retail chain of Big Bazaar and other smaller format retail outlets under EasyDay and Heritage Fresh.