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Thames Water reshuffling debt load - report

(Sharecast News) - Troubled utility Thames Water is reportedly reshuffling its debt load in an attempt to give it more time to stabilise its finances. The company is issuing as much as £750m in long-term bonds while buying back some debt maturing next year, the Bloomberg news agency reported citing an unnamed person familiar with the matter.

Thames Water is offering 7-year bonds at 335 basis points over UK gilts and 20-year bonds at 320 basis points above, the person said. The deal has so far pulled in £2.9bn in investor orders. The company also plans to repurchase some of its bonds due in June 2025.

The UK's biggest water and sewage company has come in for furious criticism over the size of its debt pile, rising bills, lack of investment in infrastructure and the release of sewage into waterways.

It has debts of £14.7bn and faces temporary nationalisation. The new bonds are being issued through the Thames Water Utilities Finance arm, according to the person familiar with the matter.

Thames Water's loan gearing, which measures the ratio of debt to equity, fell marginally in December to 79.5% compared with 80% a year ago.

Reporting by Frank Prenesti for Sharecast.com

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