RLPC-PPL seeks $11.5 bln loan for E.ON purchase-bankers

*Three banks arranging loan

*Loan includes $6.5 bln bridge loan and $5 bln revolver

*Deal pushes U.S bridge loan volume to $28 bln in 2010

By Jacqueline Poh

NEW YORK, May 10 (BestGrowthStock) – Utility PPL Corp (PPL.N: ) is
seeking $11.5 billion in financing to back its acquisition of a
Kentucky-based unit from Germany’s E.ON (EONg.DE.: ), banking
sources told Thomson Reuters LPC.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAC.N: ), Credit Suisse
(CSGN.VX: ) and Wells Fargo (WFC.N: ) are arranging the facility,
the sources added.

The financing consists of a $6.5 billion, 364-day bridge
loan and a $5 billion revolving credit facility due December
2014.

The bridge loan’s pricing opens at 275 basis points over
Libor while the revolver is priced at 200 basis points over
Libor with a 25 basis points undrawn fee.

Some banks have been invited to join both the bridge and
revolver with commitments of $800 million or $500 million by
Tuesday.

Meanwhile, other banks have been invited to a bank meeting
for a wider retail syndication on Thursday.

General participants are only invited to join the revolver,
one of the bankers said, while another source said the bridge
is not expected to be funded as it will be taken out by a bond
issue and equity.

Last month, Moody’s Investors Service downgraded the
long-term unsecured ratings of PPL to Baa3 from Baa2. The
company has a BBB rating from Standard & Poor’s.

The transaction is the largest acquisition deal in the
power sector over the last two and a half years, according to
Thomson Reuters data.

PPL’s $6.5-billion bridge pushes the overall bridge loan
volume in the U.S. to date to $28 billion, according to Thomson
Reuters LPC data.

So far this year, the market has seen 13 bridge loans
including PPL’s facility, according to Thomson Reuters LPC.

Previous deals include the $6.724 billion loan backing Air
Products & Chemicals Inc’s (APD.N: ) bid for Airgas Inc (ARG.N: );
the $5 billion bridge backing MetLife Inc’s (MET.N: ) $15.5
billion acquisition of American Life Insurance Co; and the $6.1
billion loan that backs Comcast’s (CMCSA.O: ) acquisition of a 51
percent stake in NBC Universal.

Stock Market Report

(Reporting by Jacqueline Poh; Editing by Derek Caney)

RLPC-PPL seeks $11.5 bln loan for E.ON purchase-bankers