(Adds background, context on company)
By Helene Durand
LONDON, May 30 (IFR) - Ryanair has mandated BNP Paribas, Citigroup and Deutsche Bank to arrange a series of fixed income investor meetings ahead of what will be the European low-cost airline's debut bond issue.
The transaction will be a rare opportunity for European bond investors to get exposure to the airline sector. According to one of the lead managers, the last bond issue from an airline in Europe was back in 2012.
Roadshows are planned June 3 to June 6, with Citigroup acting as global coordinator.
Ryanair is rated BBB+ by S&P and Fitch, which makes it the highest rated airline in the world according to airline's full year results for the year ended March 31.
The company completed 482m of share buybacks during that time, ahead of its 400m target. The company has said it remains committed to return a further 500m to shareholders in Q4 via a special dividend subject to AGM approval.
Ryanair has a large expenditure programme in the coming years and sealed a 15bn deal with Boeing in 2013 to buy 175 planes. (Reporting by Helene Durand, editing by Julian Baker, Alex Chambers)