May 9, 2017 / 10:59 PM / in a year

Fortescue says bond raising upsized to $1.5 bln on strong demand

SYDNEY, May 10 (Reuters) - Australian miner Fortescue Metals Group said on Wednesday it had raised $1.5 billion in a high-yield bond offering, $500 million more than originally sought, due to strong investor demand.

The unsecured debt, which will be used to refinance existing facilities as iron ore prices are falling, was also priced more favourably than marketing materials had indicated.

"This outcome recognises Fortescue's significant achievements across all of our operations, including safety performance, consistent production, sustained productivity and efficiency gains, together with the continued strength of our balance sheet," Fortescue Chief Executive Nev Power said.

A $750 million tranche of five-year notes will carry an annual interest rate of 4.75 percent, less than the estimated 5 to 5.25 percent. A $750 million tranche of seven-year notes was priced at 5.125 percent.

Fitch Ratings said on Tuesday the notes were expected to carry a rating of BB+, one notch below the lowest investment grade rating.

Fortescue Chief Financial Officer Elizabeth Gaines said the issuance had extended the miner's nearest term maturity to 2022 on improved terms and conditions. (Reporting by Jamie Freed; Editing by Richard Chang)

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