Rlpc edf and air liquide look to amend loans

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Oct 30 French utility EDF and French industrial gases firm Air Liquide are seeking to amend and extend existing syndicated loans to reduce pricing and extend maturities, banking sources said. EDF did not immediately comment. Air Liquide declined to comment. The companies are looking to take advantage of current high levels of loan market liquidity and competition between banks to lower pricing, while avoiding the cost of a full refinancing, the sources said. A+/Aa3 rated EDF is looking to cut pricing on its existing 4 billion euro ($5.51 billion) deal, which was arranged in November 2010, targeting 20 basis points (bps) over Euribor from the current level of 35 bps.

The company is also looking to extend the financing by five years and also instate two one-year extension options, one of the sources said. The financing also pays utilisation fees starting at 7.5 bps for initial drawdown, rising to 30 bps for drawings of over two thirds.

Existing lenders are offered an amendment fee of 10 bps, while new lenders are offered a 20 bps fee to join the financing. Meanwhile, A rated Air Liquide is looking to amend and extend its existing 1 billion euro facility that was originally arranged in November 2011.

That loan, which was for five-years plus two one-year extension options, paid an initial margin of 45 bps with a first draw utilisation fee of 15 bps for drawings up to one third, 30 bps for drawings over one third and 50 bps for drawings over two-thirds. The first extension option was applied in October 2012. Last week, BBB-/Baa3 rated French drinks maker Pernod Ricard successfully completed an amend and extend on a 2.5 billion euro credit facility, reducing pricing by 20 bps and extending the existing maturity maturity of the deal by one year to 2018. ($1 = 0.7262 euros)