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Black Hills (BKH) Prices $700M Notes to Refinance Debts

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Black Hills Corporation (BKH - Free Report) announced that it has priced a public offering of $700 million senior unsecured notes. The debt offering is in two tranches, with first issue comprising $400 million of 3.050% senior notes due 2029 and second issue consisting of $300 million of 3.875% senior notes due 2049. The offering will close on Oct 3 2019, which is liable to customary closing conditions.

The company intends to utilize the net proceeds from the offering to redeem all of its outstanding $400 million term loan, retire all $200 million of 5.875% senior unsecured notes due Jul 15, 2020 and utilize the balance to reimburse a portion of its surplus commercial paper and general-corporate basis.

The decision to refinance debt will enable the company to benefit from borrowed capital for a longer period at a lower cost. The capital-intensive utilities have started to gain from the Fed’s back-to-back rate cut and have started to refinance their high interest debt from the issue of low interest bearing notes.

Many companies from the capital-intensive industry are reducing cost of capital post the rate cut through debt refinancing. WPX Energy (WPX - Free Report) , Plains All American Pipeline (PAA - Free Report) and Noble Energy (NBL - Free Report) are such companies.


Black Hills Corporation’s debt-to-capitalization ratio currently stands at 57.7%, higher than the industry’s average of 53.94% and the S&P 500 composite’s average of 47.87%. Nevertheless, the company is working to strengthen its balance sheet. The debt-to-capital ratio indicates 8.3% decline compared with 2017 level of 66%. This reflects on the company’s ability to lower debt in the past few years.

Investment Plans

The company expects its five-year (2019-2023) capital investment to be nearly $2.8 billion. A significant chunk of the spending will be allocated to substitute existing utility infrastructure and providing reliable services to increasing customer base.

More than 90% of its capital investment was directed to strengthen its utility operations. Timely recovery of invested capital enables the company to repay debt and payout consistent dividend to its shareholders.

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