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ECONOMY | 22-04-2024 21:11

Argentina oil driller PAE pitches investors on global bond deal

Pan American Energy, one of Argentina’s largest crude exporters, is meeting with investors this week to gauge demand for a global bond sale.

Pan American Energy, one of Argentina’s largest crude exporters, is meeting with investors this week to gauge demand for a global bond sale, according to people familiar with the matter.

The oil driller mandated foreign banks to arrange the meetings, which were set to begin on Monday, according to the people, who asked not to be named as the meetings are private. The company is weighing a return to markets in which it would issue a benchmark-sized bond due in eight years, the people said. 

If it follows through with a sale, PAE would be the second Argentine oil and gas firm to borrow on the international bond markets this year, following YPF’s US$800-million deal in January.

A spokesperson for PAE didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. Citigroup Inc., Itau BBA, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Santander were hired to manage the deal, the people said. 

The company is jointly owned by BP Plc and an investment vehicle backed by China’s CNOOC and members of the billionaire Bulgheroni family, which founded the company and has seats on the board and in the C-suite. 

The potential sale also comes as President Javier Milei’s economic agenda sends a local risk barometer to its lowest levels since September 2020 — signalling to some on Wall Street that it might be time to invest in Argentina and its companies again.

Pan American’s dollar bonds due April 2027 have handed investors losses of 0.8% this year, underperforming a broad Bloomerg index of Latin American debt. The notes trade at around 104 cents on the dollar, according to indicative pricing compiled by Bloomberg. 

Fitch Ratings assigns the company a BB- score, three notches into junk territory, while Moody’s Investors Service grades it at Caa1.

by Vinícius Andrade, Kevin Simauchi & Giovanna Bellotti Azevedo, Bloomberg

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