IAS 32 para AG 26, hybrid bonds treated as equity, terms and conditions

Ørsted A/S – Annual report – 31 December 2019

Industry: utilities, energy

6.3 Hybrid capital

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We have issued hybrid capital which is subordinate to our other creditors. The purpose of issuing hybrid capital is to strengthen our capital base and fund our investments. We have issued EUR hybrid bonds with a total nominal value of EUR 1,876 million (DKK 14,019 million).

In 2019, we have issued a new hybrid bond at a nominal value of EUR 600 million which is classified as equity. In addition, we redeemed EUR 524 million of the hybrid bond maturing in November 2020. The remaining EUR 76 million is to be settled on 7 February 2020.

This hybrid bond is therefore classified as interest-bearing debt as of 31 December 2019.

For hybrid bonds, we may defer coupon payments to bond holders and ultimately decide not to pay them at maturity. Deferred coupon payments become payable, however, if we decide to pay dividends to our shareholders or pay coupon payments on other hybrid bonds.

As a consequence of the special terms regarding the hybrid bonds, these are classified as equity, and therefore coupon payments are recognised in equity.

Accounting policies
Hybrid capital comprises issued bonds that qualify for treatment in accordance with the rules on compound financial instruments due to the special characteristics of the bonds. The notional amount, which constitutes a liability, is recognised at present value, and equity has been increased by the difference between the net proceeds received and the present value of the discounted liability. Accordingly, any coupon payments are accounted for as dividends, which are recognised directly in equity at the time the payment obligation arises. This is because the coupon is discretionary, and therefore any deferred coupon lapses upon maturity of the hybrid capital. Consequently, coupon payments do not have any effect on profit (loss) for the year.

The part of the hybrid capital that is accounted for as a liability is measured at amortised cost. However, as the carrying amount of this component amounted to nil on initial recognition and due to the 1,000-year term of the hybrid capital, amortisation charges will only have an impact on profit (loss) for the year towards the end of the 1,000-year term of the hybrid capital. Coupon payments are recognised in the statement of cash flows in the same way as dividend payments within financing activities.

On redemption of the hybrid capital, the payment will be distributed between liability and equity, applying the same principles as used when the hybrid capital was issued. This means that the difference between the payment on redemption and the net proceeds received on issue is recognised directly in equity, as the debt portion of the existing hybrid issues will be nil during the first part of the life of the hybrid capital.

On the date when the Board of Directors decides to exercise an option to redeem hybrid capital, the part of the hybrid capital that will be redeemed will be reclassified to loans and borrowings. The reclassification will be made at the market value of the hybrid capital at the date the decision is made. Coupon payments and exchange rate adjustments following the reclassification to loans and borrowings will be recognised in profit (loss) for the year as financial income or expenses.