Hutchison enters into US$250m bond deal

HUTCHISON Whampoa yesterday said it had entered into an agreement with Hutchison Delta Finance Ltd, Hutchison Delta Ports and Peregrine Capital Ltd to sell US$250 million worth of mandatorily exchangeable bonds.

The bonds, due in 2024, would be offered to institutional buyers in the United States.

The bonds may be exchanged into shares of Delta Ports issued by Delta Ports or held by the group.

Delta Ports is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hutchison formed to own and manage the group's existing and future business in river-coastal ports, excluding trans-ocean ports.

The net proceeds of the issue will be used to finance the activities of Delta Ports and its subsidiaries.

The closing of the issue of the bonds is expected to be on November 8.

It is the intention of the group to ensure that an initial public offering of the subsidiary's shares takes place on or before the seventh anniversary of the issue of the bonds.

The group has interests in four river-coastal ports in China. They included Jiuzhou port in Zhuhai, San Shan port in Nanhai, multi-purpose berths at Gaolan port in Zhuhai and the new Zhu Chi port in Nanhai.

In connection with the bond issue, the group will also transfer its interests in and liabilities deriving from these ports to Delta Ports.