National Australia Bank (NAB) today helped launch the inaugural Simple Corporate Bond, with Australian Unity Limited – one of Australia’s oldest and highly respected mutual companies –seeking to raise approximately $200 million, with the ability to raise more or less.
Australian Unity this afternoon announced the new ASX-listed unsubordinated and unsecured bonds – the first offered under the new simple corporate bond legislation enacted by the Federal Parliament late last year.
The deal is another significant milestone in the development of Australia’s corporate bond market – of which NAB has been a key proponent.
NAB Executive General Manager for Capital Financing, Steve Lambert, said the transaction provided core growth funding for the long established Australian mutual, with the bonds expected to attract a strong level of retail interest.
“This offer assists Australian Unity in accessing the vast pool of domestic retail investors who have traditionally been unable to gain access to alternative fixed income products. The simple corporate bond regime has changed all that,” Mr Lambert said.
“It clearly shows how the bond market can be supportive of growing companies like Australian Unity. The domestic retail market provides Australian Unity with a differentiated investor base focused on the cash flow generation capabilities of the company now and into the future.
“NAB’s support for our customers is what sets us apart. These arrangements for Australian Unity are a perfect example of how we work with our customers to deliver innovative funding solutions.”
A 175-year-old mutual organisation, Australian Unity is a national healthcare, financial services and retirement living organisation providing services to around 850,000 customers, including 300,000 of its members nationwide.
NAB is the joint arranger and bookrunner for this bond issue, which will diversify the company’s debt funding sources, and importantly allow Australian Unity to maintain a footprint with retail investors in the ASX-listed market.
Australian Unity Group Managing Director Rohan Mead said the Series B Australian Unity Bonds is a simple corporate bond structure that suits Australian Unity’s objectives as a mutual company seeking to expand operations without the ability to raise equity.
“This facility enables both institutional and retail investors, including the company’s members, to participate in these Bonds and to contribute to the expansion of our activities to support the Australian Unity Group’s growth strategy,” Mr Mead said.