Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield issues €1.4b of debt and cuts directors’ salaries

Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield has successfully issued €1.4 bn of corporate bonds, albeit at a higher cost than it was paying for debt capital before the coronavirus crisis.

Europe’s largest shopping centre landlord said is has also agreed to cut salaries of its senior executives by between 20% and 25%, with the saving going to support efforts to fight the pandemic in countries in which it operates.

The REIT priced the two-tranche senior bond offering at a fixed coupon of 2.125% for €600 mln of notes with a five-year maturity, and 2.625% for €800 mln of 10-year maturities.

URW added that the offering attracted strong demand with the order book exceeding €3.3 bn.

However, the pricing was 150 bps wider for the 10-year notes than the comparable spread last October when URW raised €750 mln in a 12-year issue with a yield to maturity of 0.986%. The company has seen its credit rating downgraded due to its relatively high leverage as well as the deteriorating operational environment for retail.

The REIT said proceeds from the bond will be used for general corporate purposes, including refinancing debt that matures this year, which amounts to €3 bn of a total €25 bn.

On the pay cut, the company declared: ‘As a sign of solidarity with all employees, and with the full support of the supervisory board of URW, the group CEO, Christophe Cuvillier, the group CFO, Jaap Tonckens, and all members of the group’s senior management team have taken the initiative to reduce their remuneration by 25% for the period during which the partial activity measures will be in place”.