France Telecom (FT) today announced it has closed a GBP500 million (USD787 million) bond offering for a fixed rate over 20 years. The French operator says it has seized a window of opportunity in the Sterling bond market to diversify its investor base and optimise the average maturity of its debt. The bond offer was upsized from an initial amount of GBP250 million to GBP500 million on the back of strong demand from British investors. Barclays, HSBC and BNP Paribas are involved as the bookrunners, it said.
FT is one of the world’s leading telecommunications operators, serving more than 177 million customers across five continents as of 30 September 2008, of which two thirds are Orange customers. The group had consolidated sales of EUR52.9 billion in 2007 and EUR39.9 billion for the nine first months of 2008. As of 30 September 2008, the group had 117.6 million mobile subscribers and 12.4 million broadband internet (ADSL) users. It is listed on Euronext Paris (compartment A) and on the New York Stock Exchange.