KFC owner Yum Brands breaks junk debt market’s fast


Yum Brands, owner of Pizza Hut, KFC and Taco Bell cafe chains, marketed $600 million in bonds on Monday, reopening the U.S. sector for junk-rated financial debt issues just after its longest lull because the 2008 fiscal disaster.

Yum’s bond presenting represented a glimmer of trader demand in one particular the riskiest corners of the corporate credit rating market place, which seized up for significantly of March right after the coronavirus outbreak morphed into an economically devastating pandemic.

Automobiles hold out in line at the travel via lane of a Yum! Manufacturers Inc. Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) and Taco Bell restaurant in Lockport, Illinois, U.S., on Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019.

Daniel Acker | Bloomberg | Getty Images

While U.S. firms final week issued new investment-quality debt at a document clip, there had been no new issuance in the so-referred to as significant-yield market place for junk-rated debt issuers considering the fact that March 4.

Yum boosted its personal debt offering by 20%, right after scheduling to elevate $500 million. Nonetheless, Yum was pressured to settle for a substantially greater borrowing expense than in its prior financial debt promotions.

The business sold bonds maturing in 2025 at a 7.75% produce. By comparison, Yum elevated $800 million in September via 10-calendar year credit card debt with a generate of 4.75%. The greater the yield, the a lot more costly the bond is for the business.

The personal debt proceeds will go in the direction of “typical company functions,” Yum reported in a statement.

The Federal Reserve mentioned very last week it will backstop the financial investment-grade sector but has produced no this sort of pledge for significant-generate personal debt.

Yum, which has over 48,000 Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and KFC dining establishments throughout the world, claimed last 7 days it expects the coronavirus pandemic to impression its second-quarter exact-shop revenue additional significantly than in the first quarter, as the quickly-spreading virus hits buyer site visitors at its suppliers globally.

Yum was amid numerous restaurant providers that this thirty day period the White House for help to enable temperature the coronavirus disaster.

Before on Monday, Moody’s amended Yum’s rankings outlook to “negative” from “steady.”

“The damaging outlook reflects the chance that there could be a sustained weakening in Yum’s credit rating metrics as they are increasing financial debt stages at a time when the corporation is struggling with sizeable uncertainty surrounding the potential length and severity of cafe closures and the top impression that these closures will have on Yum’s revenues, earnings and liquidity,” Moody’s Senior Credit history Officer Invoice Fahy stated in a assertion.

Yum shares, which are down 29.8% in 2020, shut up 3.1% at $70.67, supplying it a marketplace benefit of $21 billion.


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