October 6, 2018 / 3:50 PM / a year ago

Hungary rebuys bonds linked to Richter stake - index.hu website

BUDAPEST, Oct 6 (Reuters) - Hungarian state asset manager MNV has repurchased most of a 903.8 million euro ($1 billion) bond exchangeable for shares in drug maker Richter, ahead of a 2019 expiry, the Hungarian news website index.hu said on Saturday.

Goldman Sachs announced an invitation on Wednesday to sell the bonds, which have 3.375 percent per year coupon.

In the deal, MNV bought 88 percent of the bonds on Friday at the bottom of a price target range of 102.75-103.5 percent of face value, index.hu said.

MNV officials were not immediately available for comment.

The bonds were issued in 2013 to fund the redemption of an earlier issue. The exchangeable bond is a way for the government to retain its stake of slightly over 25 percent in the company.

“We have no reason whatsoever to suppose that the government plans to part with its stake in Richter,” Richter CEO Gabor Orban told Reuters after the transaction.

The company has no further comment on the deal now, Richter spokeswoman Zsuzsa Beke said.

Richter’s shares closed at 5,215 forints ($18.5)on the Budapest Stock Exchange on Friday. ($1 = 0.8679 euros) ($1 = 281.5900 forints) (Reporting by Sandor Peto; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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