Deals of the year 2007: AstraZeneca injects hope
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Deals of the year 2007: AstraZeneca injects hope

The medicine proved not too bitter for AstraZeneca when it braved the debt markets in crisis-torn September. Waiting any longer might have been perilous.

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AstraZeneca plc (rated AA–/A1/AA–)
September 5, 2007
$8 billion equivalent issue:

Libor +30bp $650 million, due 2009
5.4% $1.75 billion, due 2012
5.9% $1.75 billion, due 2017
6.45% $2.75 billion, due 2037

September 12, 2007
5.125% €750 million, due 2017
Citi, Deutsche Bank, HSBC

 John Cole, vice-president, group finance at AstraZeneca

John Cole: "We had set out our stall"

AstraZeneca’s refinancing of its acquisition of US biotechnology firm MedImmune was one of the defining moments of the debt capital markets in 2007. This is in no small part because of the way in which the firm’s management coped with the stark transformation of investor sentiment from the takeover deal’s announcement, in April, to when AstraZeneca went to the bond markets to refinance it in September. Financial markets were still in excellent condition in April – concerns over sub-prime debt exposure had not rocked financial markets as they did at the height of summer. When the deal was unveiled, AstraZeneca was relatively flush with cash and therefore an infrequent user of the bond markets.

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