RLPC-Numericable lines up 13.5 bln euros of debt for SFR

LONDON, March 14 Fri Mar 14, 2014 1:24pm EDT

LONDON, March 14 (Reuters) - Around 13.5 billion euro-equivalent ($18.87 billion) of debt financing will back cable group Numericable's potential acquisition of Vivendi's telecom unit SFR, banking sources said on Friday.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays, BNP Paribas, Credit Agricole, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley have underwritten the debt financing, which comprises a mix of loans and bonds denominated in euros and dollars.

The financing will back the acquisition of SFR after it emerged that Vivendi entered into three weeks of exclusive talks with Numericable in an effort to finalise the deal for 11.75 billion euros in cash, plus a stake in the resulting business. [ID: nL6N0MB0LM]

The financing includes 5.25 billion euros-equivalent of term loan B debt -- of which 3 billion euros will be denominated in dollars.

There is also 5.3 billion euros of senior secured notes which will be denominated in euros and dollars.

Cable group Altice is the holding company of founder Patrick Drahi, Numericable's largest shareholder. The financing will also include 3 billion euros of debt at the Altice level.

Numericable was not immediately available to comment.

A debt financing of this size will be welcomed by cash-rich institutional investors and bankers eager to put money to work, following a dearth of M&A in 2013. ($1 = 0.7181 Euros) (Editing by Christopher Mangham)

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