UPDATE 1-Wind announces jumbo bond refinancing package

Fri Apr 4, 2014 4:37am EDT
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* Telecom firm tackles legacy senior and PIK debt

* Deal follows amendments to loans and bonds

* Alternative PIK toggle plan not adopted (Adds background on amendments to outstanding debt)

By Robert Smith

LONDON, April 4 (IFR) - Italian telecom firm Wind has announced a 3.75bn-equivalent high-yield bond as part of a long-awaited refinancing of its senior and PIK notes, which it is aiming to price next week.

The bond will be used alongside a 500m cash injection from Wind's owner VimpelCom to refinance Wind's 2.7bn-equivalent 11.75% 2017 senior notes and 1.3bn-equivalent 12.25% payment-in-kind (PIK) notes, and issued out of its Wind Acquisition Finance S.A vehicle.

One of the key drivers behind the refinancing is that the PIK notes would have to pay their first cash coupon in July if not repaid.

Wind's new financing structure could also lower the barriers for badly needed consolidation in an Italian mobile market ravaged by a year-long price war.

The new bond will carry a seven-year tenor and three-year call protection, and will be split into 1.85bn and US$2.6bn tranches. This tranche split is subject to change, however.   Continued...