TOKYO Feb 15 Tokyo Electric Power Co
(Tepco) submitted plans on Wednesday to sell a total of 70
billion yen ($612 million) of bonds, its first sale since the
2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.
Tepco unit, Tepco Power Grid Inc, which is in charge of
power transmission and distribution, said in a filing with the
Kanto Local Finance Bureau it will sell a 30 billion yen
three-year bond and a 40 billion yen five-year bond. The coupon
will be set between March 3 and 17.
The sale will mark the return of the company to Japan's
corporate bond market, which it dominated before the 2011
earthquake and tsunami triggered the world's worst nuclear
crisis since Chernobyl in 1986, bringing Tepco to its knees.
The utility, once Asia's largest, was essentially
nationalised after Fukushima. It currently faces billions of
dollars in costs to dismantle the crippled Fukushima-Daiichi
nuclear power plant, decontaminate the area and compensate
victims after the meltdown of three reactors.
Tepco, which has 650 billion yen worth of bonds maturing in
the year ending March 2018, wants to restart regular bond
issuance to ensure stable refinancing. It said the planned issue
was to pay for "equipment, pay back debt and bond redemption."
Investors, who were initially sceptical about the bond
issuance plan, have become more comfortable with the utility's
outlook after the government last year provided more details on
decommissioning and compensation costs.
The government owns 50.1 percent of the company following
its bailout, seen by some investors as an implicit state
guarantee for the company.
Six firms have been hired to manage the sale: SMBC Nikko
Securities, a unit of Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group;
Nomura Securities; Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley
Securities, a unit of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc
; Mizuho Securities, a unit of Mizuho Financial Group
Inc; Daiwa Securities; and Shinkin Securities,
a unit of Shinkin Central Bank.
($1 = 114.3600 yen)
(Reporting by Naoyuki Katayama and Osamu Tsukimori; Writing by
Aaron Sheldrick; Editing by Richard Pullin)