RLPC-Qatar’s Qtel seeks $2 bln refinancing -bankers

LONDON, March 23 (BestGrowthStock) – Qatar Telecommunications Co
(QTEL.QA: ) (Qtel) has approached banks to refinance a $2 billion
forward-start loan agreed last year in order to reduce its
borrowing costs, banking sources close to the deal said.

Forward start loans were popular in 2009 for companies
facing maturing loans, as they enabled borrowers to extend the
deals when liquidity was tight, but they involved a hefty
increase in pricing on the existing credit. With margins
falling, they are now looking expensive and borrowers are keen
to replace them.

German automotive lighting maker Hella Hueck replaced a
forward-start loan earlier this month, while banking sources
told TRLPC this week that German industrial gases firm Linde
(LING.DE: ) has issued a request for proposals over the
refinancing of the 1.6 billion euros ($2.2 billion) of
forward-start facilities arranged last June.

Banking sources told TRLPC last year that Qtel’s $2 billion
forward-start loan, signed in September 2009, paid a margin of
250 basis points (bps) over LIBOR. That compared with a margin
of 22.5 bps over LIBOR for the original three-year, $2 billion
revolving credit facility agreed in November 2006.
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Initial mandated lead arrangers and bookrunners on last
year’s loan were Bank of Tokyo-Misubishi UFJ, Barclays Capital,
BNP Paribas, DBS and Royal Bank of Scotland, while Qatar
National Bank was initial mandated lead arranger and financial
adviser.

Qtel was not immediately reachable for comment.

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($1=.7401 Euro)
(Reporting by Christopher Mangham, editing by Will Waterman)

RLPC-Qatar’s Qtel seeks $2 bln refinancing -bankers