Hennes & Mauritz AB, a Swedish multinational clothing retail company preparing to launch its debut bond issue after the shutdown of stores and weak consumption due to the pandemic. It has also set up an extra commercial paper program for borrowing currencies other than Swedish Kronor.
H&M said it’s ensuring financial flexibility in a challenging market where business opportunities may arise.
Companies around the world are rushing to the bond market to raise more money than ever before, spurred by low rates. June is on track to be one of the busiest months ever for U.S. high-yield issuance, contributing to a global corporate sales tally nearing $2 trillion.
“It’s about increasing our toolbox,” said H&M Chief Financial Officer Adam Karlsson in a TV interview. “It’s more of a long-term plan.”
For now, opportunities for H&M look scarce. Europe’s second-largest clothing chain operator cut this year’s store opening plan and now expects 40 net closures rather than an increase of 35 shops. Inventory remains a perennial problem at 40 billion kronor ($4 billion), a record level in relation to annual sales. The retailer warned it needs to offer bigger discounts this quarter, which will erode profitability.
Shares of H&M dropped as much as 3.7% in Stockholm. They have lost a quarter of their value this year.