Tuesday 28 April 2020 10:06 am

Guinness owner Diageo to raise $2.5bn through bond offering

Guinness owner Diageo plans to raise $2.5bn through a bond offering, weeks after it was forced to scrap its share buyback scheme due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The drinks giant, which also owns Smirnoff vodka and Johnnie Walker whisky, said the bond offering consisted of $750m 1.375 per cent fixed rate notes due 2025, $1bn two per cent fixed rate notes due 2030 and $750m 2.125 per cent fixed rate notes due 2032.  

Proceeds from the issuance will be used for “general corporate purposes”, Diageo said. 

Earlier this month Diageo scrapped its financial guidance and suspended a three-year £4.5bn shareholder returns programme after pubs and bars across the world closed due to coronavirus lockdowns. 

The company approved a scheme to return £4.5bn to shareholders over the three-year period to 30 June 2022. 

Under the first phase of the programme, which ended on 31 January, Diageo had already returned £1.25bn via share buybacks. However, the company will not make any further payments in the rest of the financial year. 

Diageo has seen a pick up in retail sales at supermarkets after bars and restaurants closed in March.

The company previously warned that the impact of coronavirus in the Asian market, where the coronavirus pandemic began, could result in a £200m hit to profit.