Business Maverick

Business Maverick

Nissan Plans First Bond Sale Since Scandals After Leader Changes

The Nissan Motor Co. logo is seen on the front grille of a vehicle at the company's manufacturing facility in Smyrna, Tennessee, U.S., on Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017. Nissan Motor Co. is scheduled to release earnings figures on November 7. Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg

Nissan Motor Co. is planning its first bond sale since scandals involving its ex-Chairman Carlos Ghosn and former CEO Hiroto Saikawa, according to people familiar with the matter.

The debt offering would test investor sentiment after the automaker unveiled top manager changes earlier this month. Read more about those shuffles here.

The company is resuscitating a yen bond sale that it put off in September after then CEO Saikawa became embroiled in a compensation furor. That had added to investor caution following Ghosn’s arrest in Tokyo last year amid accusations of crimes ranging from falsifying documents to diverting company money for personal use.

The company is targeting a potential note sale of up to 250 billion yen ($2.3 billion) and may seek to price the securities in the January-March period, the people said, asking not to be identified because the matter is private. The offering may include three-, five-, seven- and 10-year bonds, they added.

“We plan to issue bonds when the conditions are met,” said Nissan spokeswoman Azusa Momose, adding that the company cannot comment on further details.

Last month, Rakesh Kochhar, a senior vice president who oversees the automaker’s global treasury and automotive sales finance business, said in an interview that he expected yen bonds to come to market again in December. The money raised would be used to replenish working capital, he said.

Nissan’s borrowing costs have increased slightly after two ratings companies downgraded the carmaker earlier this year, but Kochhar said this has not impacted its ability to access capital.

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