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International market keen bidder for US$300 million Santos debt issue

Santos Limited has attracted strong support from international investors for a US$300 million (A$550 million) private placement of long-term senior unsecured notes.

“The placement was heavily oversubscribed. The initial offering was for $US200 million,” Santos’ Managing Director, Mr John Ellice-Flint, said today.

We are pleased to have such a strong vote of confidence by international investors.

“As a result, Santos has been able to refinance its maturing debt on very favourable terms taking advantage of the lowest interest rates in 30 years,” Mr Ellice-Flint said.

The private placement has an average term of over 12 years with tranches out to 20 years. Proceeds from the issue will be used by Santos to repay short-term debt and some medium and long-term debt maturing within the next two months.

About half of this latest placement has been taken by investors in the Santos 2000 issue with the remainder being new investors.

“We have significantly extended Santos overall debt maturity profile to an average 7 years (4 years previously) and have minimal reliance on short-term debt,” Mr Ellice-Flint said.

“This places Santos in a very strong position going forward.”

Salomon Smith Barney acted as lead placement agent and National Australia Capital Markets / RBS Securities Corporation acted as co-placement agents.

Santos Limited is a major Australian oil and gas exploration and production company with interests in all Australian hydrocarbon provinces. The company also operates in the USA, Indonesia and PNG.