Greece’s Intralot plans 300-million-euro bond issue

Greek gaming systems provider Intralot plans to issue a 300-million-euro bond to refinance outstanding debt and loans, the company said on Thursday.

A long-standing technology provider for the country’s profitable sports gambling monopoly OPAP, Intralot had put off plans to tap the market in the last couple of months, citing volatile market conditions.

It secured a new, profitable five-year IT contract with OPAP in June. An OPAP-led consortium – in which the firm is a minority shareholder – also signed a 12-year contract this week to run Greece’s state lotteries.

Intralot said it would use the proceeds from the bond, due in 2018, to buy back 140 million euros ($186 million) in convertible bonds maturing in 2013 and refinance part of its loans.

Fitch rates Intralot with B+ and had warned it would place it on Rating Watch Negative if the company failed to raise at least 150 million euros in new funding.

Greece is staying afloat on funds from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund and has been shut out of debt markets since a debt crisis broke out in 2009.

But after the cash-strapped country secured new rescue loans from its international lenders last year, the markets are gradually re-opening to Greek companies.

Greece’s telecoms company OTE raised 700 million euros of new bonds in January, while commercial cooler maker Frigoglass issued a 250 million euro bond in May. [Reuters]