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Covid-19 sends the corporate bond market – and everyone else – home

Not only were corporate deals done last week, but they were done with most people being at home. This is the new normal for at least the next couple of months.


If you were to draw up a list of things that people would rather not have to do amidst an unprecedented market crash that had imposed home working across the industry, selling €2 billion of corporate bonds would probably feature pretty highly.

Single-A rated Unilever conducted this experiment on Friday and seemed relieved and surprised at how well things went.

The global consumer goods company is facing €2.4 billion equivalent in bond maturities during the next few months: €300 million in April, $800 million in May, $500 million in July and €750 million in August.

These are the first two deals that have been done almost entirely remotely on both the syndication and investor-base side… We didn't see any problems
- Tomas Lundquist, Citi

It had originally planned to sell two five- and 10-year tranches of €500 million apiece through bookrunners BNP Paribas, Citi, Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs.

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