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Telekom Austria plans €1 billion bond issue

Telekom Austria has become only the second European corporate this year to announce its entrance into the bond market. The Austrian national telecoms company says it plans to launch a ?1 billion ($1.3 billion) bond issue in the near future. Citigroup, Lehman Brothers and ABN Amro have been appointed as joint bookrunners on the deal.

Telekom Austria, which is rated Baa2 and BBB by Moody's and Standard & Poor's respectively, plans to use the capital to fund the expansion of its acquisitive mobile subsidiary, Mobilkom. 

Last week Mobilkom acquired the remaining 1% it did not own in VIPnet for ?1.7 million, allowing it to fully integrate the Croation mobile operator. Mobilkom CEO Boris Nemsic said the company would continue to expand in south-east Europe.

This is the company's second major bond issue of recent years. In July 2003 the company issued a 10-year bond aimed at raising ?750 million.

French advertising company Publicis announced earlier this week that it planned to issue bonds with a view to funding the buy-back of ?690 million convertible bonds, due to mature in 2018.

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