AMR Bankruptcy Yields Record-Low Bond Coupon

Some of airline's enhanced equipment trust certificates pay just 4%.

American Airlines is selling investment-grade debt even as it spends a 15th month in bankruptcy while bond buyers look ahead to the merger with US Airways Group Inc. that will create the world’s largest carrier.

The AMR Corp. unit issued $663 million of so-called enhanced equipment trust certificates Tuesday that included a portion paying 4 percent, matching the record low coupon for similar airline debt, which was first awarded to United Continental Holdings Inc. in September, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. American is also seeking to refinance about $1.3 billion of bonds backed by aircraft after receiving court approval to do so in January.

‘Clear Pathway’

Sean Collins, a spokesman for Fort Worth, Texas-based American, declined to comment on the company’s financing plans.

Credit Ratings

S&P ranks the 4 percent, Class-A certificates BBB-, two steps below Fitch’s BBB+ grade, and has a B+ rating on the 5.625 percent, Class-B debt, a level above Fitch’s B ranking.

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