M&S launches first ever bond buy-back plan

MARKS and Spencer yesterday announced it would be embarking on its first tender offer to shareholders in its 125-year history.<br /><br />The retail bellwether said it plans to buy back up to &pound;225m of bonds from investors and issue new debt, becoming the latest firm to take advantage of attractive market conditions.<br /><br />The clothing, homewares and food retailer has invited holders of its outstanding &pound;375m 6.375 per cent notes due 2011, and holders of its outstanding &pound;400m 5.875 per cent notes due 2012 to participate in a tender offer on November 24.<br /><br />M&amp;S said the buyback was subject to it raising new sterling-denominated bond financing on satisfactory terms.<br /><br />The group said: &ldquo;The purpose of the invitation and the company&rsquo;s contemplated raising of new financing is to take advantage of current favourable market conditions in the debt capital markets and to extend the company&rsquo;s debt maturity profile.&rdquo;<br /><br />A spokeswoman for M&amp;S said the firm was seeking debt maturity beyond 2014. Citigroup, HSBC, Morgan Stanley and Royal Bank of Scotland are acting as dealer managers for the tender offer.