Holders of the ESLA Bond have oversubscribed the buyback, following ESLA Plc’s announcement to buy-back portion of its outstanding debt issued under the GHc 10 billion programme, meant to refinance Ghana’s energy sector legacy debts.
A minimum buy-back target of GHc 200 million was initially announced for which total amounts of about GHc 149.059 million on ESLA 2024 bonds and GHc 416.55 million on ESLA 2027 bonds were offered by bondholders.
However, of the offered amounts by bondholders, only about GHc 297.39 million on the ESLA 2027 bonds were accepted, whereas the full amount offered for the ESLA 2024 was accepted.
From the 2018 financial statement of the Company, it did a similar buy-back arrangement to the tune of GHc 203.03 million.
Currently, the company is believed to have about GHc 206.24 million and GHc 310.41 million in its lockbox account. This follows a transfer of excess of the Debt Service Reserve amount into a Lockbox Account for the benefit of bond holders.
ESLA Plc, in 2017, set out to raise GHc 6 billion for the first tranche of the GHc 10 billion debt. However, it was only able to raise some GHc4.7 billion.
The bonds which were issued as the first tranche under the bond programme comprised of seven-year bonds of GHc 2.4 billion at a final yield of 19 percent and 10-year bonds of GHc 2.29 billion, bonds carrying coupon rate of 19.5 percent.
In January 2018, ESLA Plc raised an additional GHc 615,947,860 through the 10-year bond that it reopened.
Late last year, it was expected that another bond offer will be made under the 10-year bonds programme worth up to GHc 340 million. This was going to be the third tap re-opening issuance following the initial issuance, done in November 2017, but which was significantly undersubscribed.
Most of the energy bonds issued so far have been bought by banks in Ghana since the receipts are used by ESLA to pay off the debts being owed them. This enables the banks to replace those non-performing loans with performing investments in bonds and thus frees them from having to make loan loss provisions.