UPDATE 1-Spain's FCC gets banks on board in 5 bln euro refinancing

Wed Jan 8, 2014 3:57am EST

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MADRID Jan 8 (Reuters) - Spanish building and services group FCC said on Wednesday the vast majority of its creditor banks supported the terms of a 5 billion euro ($6.8 billion) debt restructuring, one of the biggest such deals in Spain in recent years.

FCC, which had been working to refinance the debt as much of it fell due at the end of 2013, said banks had agreed to extend the maturity of the loans to the end of February in order to give time to wrap up the deal.

"This extension of maturity grants enough time to allow for the closing of the refinancing," the company said in a statement, in which it said 95 percent of creditor banks approved the terms of the plan, without giving further details.

FCC shares traded as high as 18.6 euros, a near-two-year high, before paring gains to trade 1.7 percent higher.

FCC, like many of its Spanish builder peers, had borrowed heavily to fund aggressive expansion during Spain's construction boom, which ended abruptly in 2008 leaving many companies with sharply reduced income and huge debts.

FCC's net debt stood at 6.6 billion euros at end-September, more than three times its stock market valuation. The company had said it wanted to bring that figure down to below 6 billion euros by the end 2013 and to around 5 billion by 2015.

The debt refinancing is a key step for FCC's return to health, as the loss-making firm cuts staff, sells assets and makes writedowns on bad investments.

The stock, which had lost around 80 percent of its value since its 2007 peak, has received a boost in recent weeks by investments from prominent foreign investors Microsoft founder Bill Gates and billionaire George Soros. ($1 = 0.7349 euros) (Reporting by Sonya Dowsett and Tracy Rucinski; Editing by Louise Ireland)

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