U.K. Companies Return to High-Yield Market on Brexit Delay

(Bloomberg) -- U.K. companies are back with new debt sales after staying away for months as they seek to capitalize on an opportunistic window following an extension to the Brexit deadline.

Bookmaker William Hill Plc and supermarket operator Tesco Plc announced plans to raise 350 million pound ($453 million) each via sterling bonds. Gas station company EG Group Ltd. is selling 1.35 billion euro-equivalent bonds denominated in euros and dollars. Playtech Plc priced a 350 million euro note in February, the last U.K. company to sell a bond.

European Union leaders earlier this month agreed to postpone Britain’s departure until the end of October. This is expected to stave off short-term market worries about a disorderly exit and more deals from U.K. companies are in the works, said bankers.

Two borrowers have raised a total of 452 million pound-equivalent in bonds this year. In contrast, eight borrowers issued about 2.8 billion pound of bonds in the same period last year.

Companies found other avenues to raise funds to beat the uncertainty from Brexit. Earlier this month, Aston Martin privately placed $190 million of notes, while Co-operative Group Ltd. leaned on its relationship banks for a 180 million pound liquidity facility. Meanwhile, Jaguar Land Rover in February said conditions were too tough to access the market and Victoria Plc shelved a planned deal late last year citing expensive funding costs.

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