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  • Flight Centre (FLT) has launched a $400 million convertible note offer, as renewed vaccine hopes bring investors back to the embattled travel retailer
  • The senior unsecured notes are due in 2027 and will be organised through joint bookrunners Goldman Sachs International and Merrill Lynch Equities
  • Flight Centre plans to use some of the proceeds to repay $100 million in debt and bolster its liquidity
  • Earlier this week, FLT shares jumped substantially, after U.S. pharmaceutical giant Pfizer released positive early research into its potential coronavirus vaccine
  • Flight Centre closed 9.26 per cent in the green for $15.70 per share

Flight Centre (FLT) has launched a $400 million convertible note offer, as renewed vaccine hopes drive investors back to the embattled travel retailer.

The senior unsecured notes are due in 2027 and will be organised through joint bookrunners Goldman Sachs International and Merrill Lynch Equities.

Flight Centre will use the proceeds to pay off around $100 million in debt and bolster its liquidity.

The note offering follows an impressive day’s trading for FLT shares, which have been struggling this year under the weight of widespread global travel restrictions.

The downturn in international travel is continuing to hit the company's bottom line, with sales in September at just 12 per cent of usual levels.

Despite the difficult year so far, investors flocked back to Flight Centre yesterday, after U.S. pharmaceutical giant Pfizer released positive early research regarding its potential coronavirus vaccine.

The news brought hope of a shorter-than-expected downturn in international travel, causing FLT shares to jump almost 10 per cent during trading on Tuesday.

Nevertheless, despite its recent share price gains, Flight Centre is still a long way from trading back at its pre-pandemic levels.

While Pfizer’s vaccine is potentially good news for the industry, Flight Centre remains cautious and was quick to point out it is still prepared "for almost all scenarios including a prolonged downturn."

Graham Turner, Managing Director of Flight Centre said the recent easing of lockdown restrictions in Australia is giving the company modest hopes. Turning to international travel, Graham remains hesitantly optimistic.

"While we remain cautious given the environment in the Northern Hemisphere, we welcome the recent news of Pfizer’s positive COVID-19 vaccination trial data and look forward to further developments, given their potential to fast-track the recovery in travel activity," he added.

Flight Centre closed 9.26 per cent in the green for $15.70 per share.

FLT by the numbers
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