Brazil’s Atento Watching Markets for Post-Labor Day Bond Sale

(Bloomberg) -- Brazil’s Atento SA is considering selling debt as soon as September, testing the depths of international bond markets for high-yield Latin American corporations.

The Sao Paulo-based call center operator looks to be ready for a sale if a window opens early next month after the Labor Day holiday in the US, said Shay Chor, corporate treasurer. A sale would “depend on market conditions” and be used to refinance existing debt, including notes due in 2022, Chor said in an email.

Latin American bond sales have rebounded since markets froze over concerns about the coronavirus pandemic. But the $63.5 billion governments and companies have borrowed since late March is still more than 30% less than the amount sold during the same period in 2019, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

If it does tap markets, speculative-grade rated Atento would join a handful of companies that have been able to sell junk bonds since the thaw.

Lucror Analytics said Atento faces $67.2 million in debt maturities this year, $26.4 million next year, followed by $501.5 million due in 2022. Analyst Soummo Mukherjee cites company plans to pay the “at par or above with any likely refinancing that may come in the next window,” according to a research note.

The company’s assets have have rallied since mid March, with bonds gaining 22 cents on the dollar, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

By Ezra Fieser