Chile’s airline LAN to issue up to $200 mln in bonds


SANTIAGO – Chile’s leading airline LAN LAN.SN LFL.SN plans to issue bonds worth up to $200 million to finance investments and refinance debt, in the latest of a flurry of Chilean corporate bond issuance in 2009, the country’s market regulator said.

LAN said it would issue two bonds in the local market, one with a maturity of 10 years and another with a maturity of 30 years, in either dollars, pesos or inflation-indexed peso units.

The bonds will be used “to finance investments of the company and its affiliates and to refinance debt”, LAN told the regulator in a note published overnight.

It said the bonds could be issued in the “general market”, but did not elaborate.

A string of Chilean companies have turned to corporate debt issues this year to finance debt and investments to steer clear of global markets battered by financial crisis and bank lending restrictions.

LAN, which has affiliates in Ecuador, Peru and Argentina, accounts for more than half of Chile’s international passenger traffic and nearly three-quarters of its domestic traffic.