Colombia public utility company EPM issues $750 million in bonds

BOGOTA (Reuters) - Colombian public services holding company Empresas Publicas de Medellin (EPM) said on Wednesday it has issued $750 million (£594.91 million) in bonds on the international market and will use the proceeds to strengthen its liquidity and financial position during the coronavirus pandemic.

The bonds were issued in two tranches, including 635 billion pesos ($175 million) in reopened EPM bonds due in 2027, and another tranche of $575 million that will mature in 2031.

The bond issue received an investment grade rating, matching that of EPM’s, from Fitch Ratings and Moody’s.

“The results of the placement reflect local and international investors’ confidence in EPM’s financial strength, even amid the world economy’s current uncertain circumstances due to effects caused by the coronavirus pandemic,” said EPM general manager Alvaro Guillermo Rendon.

“The organization has built a solid position in international financial markets since its first bond issue in 2009, based on transparency of information,” Rendon said in a statement.

The bond issue drew demand from investors based in the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia, Colombia, Chile and Peru.

EPM is a public services company which operates household utilities including water, energy and natural gas in Medellin and more than 100 municipalities in Antioquia province, where it serves 3.6 million inhabitants.

The company is building the Hidroituango hydroelectric plant in northeast Colombia, which has faced delays due to heavy rains and the instability of the terrain.

($1 = 3,631.54 pesos)

Reporting by Luis Jaime Acosta; Writing by Oliver Griffin; Editing by Richard Pullin