October 25, 2012 / 1:21 PM / 5 years ago

CORRECTED-UPDATE 1-Czech EP Energy closes on 500 mln euro bond-IFR

(Corrects Oct. 24 story to clarify parent company, not EP Energy itself, is bidding for RWE business)

PRAGUE, Oct 24 (Reuters) - Czech investment group EP Energy, gearing up for an expansion drive, set the final yield on a debut 7-year, 500 million euro bond at 5.875 percent on Wednesday, Thomson Reuters news and market analysis service IFR reported.

EP Energy, rated BB+ by Fitch, is owned by Czech holding group EPH and looking to expand its energy business in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Germany.

EP Energy is part of the EPH group which is bidding for RWE AG’s Czech gas transit business Net4Gas and Slovak counterpart SPP, which pipe gas from Russia to both European states and onwards to Germany.

Erste Group, ING, J.P. Morgan, Societe Generale and UniCredit were joint lead managers on the deal, and KBC is co-manager.

Books closed after opening earlier in the day with a yield of around 6 percent.

The bond holds a provisional BBB- rating from Fitch.

EP Energy, which runs more than 30 energy-related firms, last week signed a 1 billion euro financing deal with a group of 11 Czech banks, the biggest such deal ever on the domestic market.

The company had earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of 7.2 billion crowns ($373.61 million) on 39.4 billion in sales in 2011.

EPH is 44.44 percent owned by the richest Czech Petr Kellner’s investment group PPF and 37.04 percent by J&T investment group. EPH Chairman Daniel Kretinsky controls the remaining 18.52 percent stake. ($1 = 19.2713 Czech crowns) (Reporting by Jason Hovet; Editing by John Stonestreet, Ron Askew)

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