AstraZeneca issues $6bn of bonds to fund ZS Pharma acquisition

Sarah Spickernell
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Yesterday the company's credit rating was cut by both S&P and Moody's
Yesterday the company's credit rating was cut by both S&P and Moody's (Source: Getty)

AstraZeneca has issued $6bn worth of bonds so that it can finance its acquisition of biotech company ZS Pharma.

The British drugmaker said the move would have no material impact on its financial guidance for the year, and that it will help it to meet certain repayment obligations. The bonds will be released in a series of five separate trenches.

Investors have reacted positively to the news, with shares in the company currently up 1.41 per cent at 4,215p.

Read more: AstraZeneca setback: Diabetes treatment fails to win approval in the US

It comes a day after two ratings agencies - Moody's and S&P - simultaneously lowered their credit ratings for the company, on the grounds that it was financially suffering as a result of investments aimed at strengthening its portfolio of new medicines.

Last week, the company announced its acquisition of ZS Pharma. The company specialises in the treatment of hyperkalaemia, a blood condition caused by unusually high levels of potassium in the bloodstream.

Like many of its major rivals, AstraZeneca is looking to buy small biotech firms in an attempt to counteract the negative impact of looming patent expirations. By the end of next year, it will have lost its rights over cholesterol-lowering medicine Crestor and heartburn pill Nexium - two of its big sellers.

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