A Stone has just closed its first international issue: US$500 million in bonds maturing in 7 years and final yield of 3.95%. The cost was lower than expected, as initially something above 4% was projected. The high demand is what guaranteed the success and conditions of the placement. The total purchase interest reached 4 times the book value of the offer, in other words, US$ 2 billion — and that for a first-time Brazilian issuer.
The company has a health in the accounts that makes them jealous. It ended March with more than R$ 10 billion in cash, for financial commitments of less than R$ 2.5 billion. The idea of taking on debt, therefore, is to increase the efficiency of the capital structure, as it is an old lesson that there is an optimal indebtedness point — which also contributes to the free cash flow of the business. Companies with more money than debt, such as Stone, need to be careful not to overpay taxes.
The money raised, close to R$ 2.5 billion at the current exchange rate, will be used to pay for the participation of almost 5% in the Banco Inter announced at the end of May — exactly at that amount. The debt and interest flow will be hedged in reais, as Stone is an entire company with costs and income in local currency. However, the rates available on the foreign market make sense.
In the first quarter of this year, the company handled on its payment platform nothing less than R$51 billion, an increase of more than 30% compared to the previous year. The acquisition of the slice in Inter helped the market to see that Stone, also about to absorb the Linx, is positioning itself in such a way as to stay away from the fare fight for the little machines. The partnership with Inter, more than the investment, includes a common commercial plan to unite the Inter Shop consumer with the retailer served by Stone. The strategy, guarantee people close to the theme, is being designed and has several fronts.
If it passed unnoticed for investors, it did not pass for banks. They carefully read the information that, with a 5% stake, Stone has been granted pre-emptive rights for six years if Inter receives an acquisition offer. The company of Augusto Lins, André Street and Tiago Piau is no joke.
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