Bond issue

How do you go from equity story to debt story?

When you’re planning a bond issue, you need to adapt your financial communications to a new audience: bond investors.

The latter have different expectations from equity investors, and it’s important to understand them in order to offer them the right communication.

Bond investors' expectations

Bond investors are above all looking for security. They want to be sure of recovering their capital when the bond matures, as well as receiving an attractive return. They are therefore more sensitive to financial indicators that reflect the company’s financial strength, such as :

  • cash position,
  • cash flow generation,
  • debt capacity,
  • solvency.

Issuers active on the bond market are generally rated, voluntarily or otherwise, by a rating agency. Financial ratings reflect the risk of financial solvency. Occasional issuers are also well advised to seek a rating from an agency or intermediary recognized in their market.

Bond investor profile

Bond investors are generally financial institutions, such as banks, pension funds or insurance companies. They may also be institutional investors, such as investment funds or asset management companies. With the rise in interest rates, most asset management companies now offer a range of bond funds.

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Can retail investors subscribe to a bond issue?

In theory, retail investors can subscribe to a bond issue. However, for the majority of bond issues, the “entry ticket” is 100,000 euros. And since a bond portfolio needs to be diversified, this implies holding several lines of this amount, which considerably reduces the addressable audience. For this reason, private investors who wish to invest in bonds do so mainly through mutual funds, and not in securities.

However, there’s nothing to prevent us from issuing bonds with a nominal value of a few hundred or thousands of euros, rather than 100,000. Several dozen retail bonds are traded daily on the market.

Communication at the time of issue will determine not only the success of the operation, but also the stock’s liquidity on the secondary market.

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A complete communications package

As with an IPO, communication on a bond issue must be global and multi-channel. It must reach all potential investors, including institutional investors, retail investors and the media.

This communication device must include the following elements:

  • Investor relations: individual or group meetings with investors to present the company and the transaction,
  • marketing: communications aimed at retail investors, to inform them of the transaction and encourage them to subscribe to the bonds,
  • press relations: press releases and articles to inform the general public about the operation,
  • advertising: advertisements in the trade press or on social networks,
  • print edition: an issue prospectus presenting the company and the operation,
  • web edition: a dedicated website,
  • events: conferences or roadshows to present the company and the operation to potential investors.
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Post-issue communication

Once the issue has been completed, it is important to maintain regular communication with bondholders, over and above the legal obligation to inform the bondholder representatives. The objectives of this communication must be to:

  • keep them informed of company developments,
  • generate their trust.

This communication can be carried out through:

  • investor Relations,
  • quarterly or half-yearly communications,
  • events dedicated to bondholders.
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Communication on a bond issue is a key element in the success of the operation. By adapting your communications to the expectations of bond investors, you increase your chances of raising the funds you need for your projects.

Calyptus is a French financial communications agency with a strong consulting focus, specializing in listed SMEs. We can help you with all your financial communications, including bond issues.

Our teams of experienced consultants can help you define your communication strategy, design your communication media and implement your campaign. We help you achieve your communication objectives and raise the funds you need for your projects.

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