Uranium One is looking to do what no foreign company has ever done in Russia – raise money by selling debt.
The company has filed to raise almost $1-billion (U.S.) by selling 10-year bonds, and received permission to sell two tranches. The money would help cover the $1-billion that Uranium One needs to pay for a project in Tanzania that Uranium One has the option to buy. It would be the first company based outside Russia to sell bonds in the Russian market, according to analyst Edward Sterck of BMO Nesbitt Burns.
Should Uranium One manage to raise the debt, it will take the pressure off Uranium One to raise money for 10 years, and be a relief to shareholders, said analyst David Talbot of Dundee Securities.
"Not that anyone was expecting an equity raise, but this debt option would likely be viewed by current minority shareholders as a favourable way to keep from further dilution," he said.
Uranium One and AtomRedMetZoloto, Uranium one's majority shareholder, have partnered to develop projects that AtomRedMetZoloto acquired when it bought Mantra Resources. Under the deal, Uranium One has the option to buy Mantra from AtomRedMetZoloto, and AtomRedMetZoloto has a put option that gives it the ability to force Uranium One to buy Mantra. (The full terms are laid out on Uranium One's web page here.)