SATS sets up new MTN facility

$500m open-dated programme with no expiry period replaces earlier one

SINGAPORE Airport Terminal Services (SATS) has established a new $500 million multicurrency medium-term note (MTN) programme to help finance potential investments and expansion.

The latest note programme replaces its 10-year $500 million MTN programme set up in 2001. SATS drew down just $200 million from that programme in 2004, which was subsequently paid down and retired in September last year.

The latest MTN facility, arranged by DBS Bank and OCBC Bank, is open-dated or ‘evergreen’, with no expiry period.

SATS indicated it can be used for general working capital, capital expenditure and capital management purposes, as well as strategic investments and to refinance borrowings.

In a statement issued via the Singapore Exchange, SATS said the notes may be issued on a syndicated or non-syndicated basis.

‘Each series of notes may be issued in one or more tranches, on the same or different issue dates, and be issued at par or at a discount, or premium, to par,’ it said.

‘Notes may bear interest at fixed, floating, variable or hybrid rates or such other rates, and subject to compliance with all relevant laws, regulations and directives, may have maturities of such tenor, as may be agreed between SATS and the relevant dealer(s). Hybrid notes or zero coupon notes may also be issued under the programme.’

Having the facility does not necessarily mean cash-rich SATS will use it any time soon.

‘This facility simply replaces the previous one, and we secured it just to give us some financial flexibility,’ said Sandy Leng, the company’s head of investor relations.

SATS has virtually no gearing, and had cash of some $138 million in the kitty at end-December 2009. This was after it paid $487 million to buy Singapore Food Industries (SFI) last year.

SATS boosted net earnings for its third quarter to end-December 2009 by 42 per cent, or $15.8 million, to $53.4 million, thanks primarily to the consolidation of SFI, which it bought for some $509 million a year ago. Topline revenue for the quarter rose $191.9 million, or 79.2 per cent, to $434.3 million, with SFI contributing $199.6 million, or 46 per cent of this.

Net profit for the April-December 2009 period rose 29 per cent to $134.7 million, on a 56 per cent rise in revenue to $1.15 billion, surpassing the full-year FY’08/09 revenue of $1.07 billion.

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