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    Tesco Issues $2 Billion Bond for U.S. Launch

    The British retailer says it's an attempt to broaden investor base in the States.

    EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- With just one week remaining before the company opens the doors of its first six Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Markets in the U.S., parent company Tesco PLC raised $2 billion of debt in its first-ever dollar-denominated bond issue, the Financial Times reported.

    The bond issue is an attempt by the company to broaden its investor base in the U.S. Proceeds will be used for "general corporate purposes," and refinancing other short-term loans, the report stated, citing a statement by the company.

    "Tesco is expanding in places like Ireland, central Europe, Thailand, South Korea, as well as the U.S., where they are going to be growing from nothing to a fairly substantial business in my view, and it all needs financing," Philip Dorgan, analyst at Panmure Gordon, told the Times.

    The bond issue includes 10-year notes paying 5.5 percent interest and 30-year notes with a payback of 6.15 percent, the FT reported.

    After the first six Fresh & Easy stores open in Southern California on Nov. 8, five more stores will open the following week -- on Nov. 17 -- in Las Vegas, the report stated.


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