Fast-food giant Jollibee Foods Corp. (JFC) is venturing into the global bond market to boost its war chest during this state of global public health crisis caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

JFC subsidiary Jollibee Worldwide Pte. Ltd. (JWPL) has mandated Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan and Morgan Stanley as joint global coordinators, and Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, Morgan Stanley, BPI Capital Corp., Credit Suisse and UBS as joint lead managers and joint bookrunners to arrange a series of fixed income investors briefings starting June 17.

Based on a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange on Wednesday, a Regulation S (Reg S)-only US dollar denomina­ted senior unsecured securities offering may follow, subject to market conditions.

Reg S securities refer to bonds or stocks that may not be offered, sold or delivered within the United States.

“Proceeds from the contemplated offering will be used for general corporate purposes, intended as a precautionary measure from unforeseen eventualities that may be caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as fund initiatives of the group,” the disclosure said.

JFC said it had sufficient cash and liquidity—P26.5 billion or $522.3 million as of end-March—to support its operations on a continuing basis and meet all its obligations.

Last January, JFC debuted into the offshore capital market by raising $600 million from a landmark issuance of perpetual securities likewise through JWPL. This deal represented the first ever offshore securities issuance from JFC and the first time for it to tap the capital market since its initial public offering in 1993. The issuance was also one of the first by an Asian restaurant company.

Proceeds from the earlier offering were intended primarily to refinance the short-term debt from the acquisition of International Coffee and Tea, LLC (The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf), completed on Sept. 24, 2019. —DORIS DUMLAO-ABADILLA

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