Best sub-sovereign borrower
Best corporate high-grade borrower
Best financial sector borrower
Best corporate high-yield issuer
The high-yield bond market has been tearing along for all but the last few weeks of the past 18 months or so, with high levels of issuance and spreads tightening. As a result, issuers have had the upper hand. Several have come out with well-structured and well-timed deals, but NRG wins this year's North America award for its December financing package, which restructured the company's debts, freed up cashflow and secured its exit from bankruptcy just seven months after going into Chapter 11.
NRG is a merchant power company that built itself up during the 1990s by acquiring other companies and funding most of its expansion with debt. When the energy industry hit a downturn from the end of 2000 the company was plunged into financial difficulties, was downgraded and then in May 2003 filed for bankruptcy.