Grafton looks to raise £50m with bonds sold directly to investors

Marion Dakers
BUILDERS’ merchant Grafton Group hopes to raise at least £50m as the latest London-listed firm to offer bonds directly to retail investors.

Grafton, which is listed in the UK and Ireland, said yesterday the sterling seven-year bond will offer a fixed rate of 5.5 per cent a year.

Investors will be able to take part in the issue by putting in as little as £2,000.

Chief executive Gavin Slark said the firm aims to diversify its funding and extend the maturity of its debts. Investec is managing the issue. Grafton follows a growing number of companies taking their bonds straight to individual investors this year.

Property group Helical Bar’s retail bonds are due to begin trading today, while Provident Financial, Paragon and Enquest have all taken bonds to market in 2013.

The London Stock Exchange launched its Order book for Retail Bonds (ORB) three years ago in response to growing interest from firms looking to raise funds away from the equity markets.