Toronto may be in a brutal cold snap, but corporate credit markets are beginning to thaw.
Investors are queueing up for a piece of a bond sale this morning by Shoppers Drug Mart Corp., which is a great sign that the re-opening of credit markets that began with big corporate bond sales last week in Europe and the U.S. is spreading to Canada.
Shoppers is looking to raise at least $300-million by selling 3-year and 5-year notes in a deal co-led by Scotia Capital and RBC Dominion Securities. The order book is closed and there are requests for more than that tally.
Shoppers is the first true corporate bond offering since at least November. Since then, only banks and government-linked entities have been willing and able to come to market.
The fact that investors are willing to pile into an offering by a company that depends on consumer demand is a good sign for other borrowers, and expect to see more companies with solid brands and balance sheets hitting the market while the window is open.
The pricing should be set later today, which will be a key benchmark for other treasurers trying to guage the cost of capital in 2009.