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Wesfarmers raising $710 in US markets

Wesfarmers is raising US$650 million (approximately A$710 million) following the successful pricing of a bond issue in the United States.
Managing Director Richard Goyder said the bond issue was an important step in the overall plan to refinance the Coles acquisition facilities.
"In addition to today's US$650 million bond issue, we are well advanced on a range of options to complete the refinancing programme. We will continue to assess these options to optimise the refinancing and will advise the market as appropriate."
The placement consists of 5 year notes with a coupon of 6.998 per cent, maturing in 2013.
The notes will rank equally with Wesfarmers' existing senior debt facilities and are expected to be rated BBB+ by Standard & Poor's and Baa1 by Moody's, in line with the company's own rating.
The US$ proceeds have been fully hedged and will be converted into Australian Dollars.
The notes will not be offered for sale in Australia and no shareholder approval is required for the issue of the notes.
Completion of the issue of the notes is expected to take place on 10 April 2008 and is subject to customary closing conditions.

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