LONDON Feb 15 Anheuser-Busch InBev (ABI.BR),
the world's largest brewer, is talking to close relationship
banks about refinancing $13 billion of loans, banking sources
said on Monday.
The deal could be one of the biggest syndicated loans of the
Proceeds will refinance the remainder of $54.8 billion of
loans that paid for ABInBev's $52 billion merger with U.S.
brewer Anheuser-Busch in 2008 with three and five-year
maturities, one of the sources said.
ABInBev has already refinanced most of the $54.8 billion of
loans raised to pay for the merger bond issues and disposals
which totalled $17.2 billion in December 2009.
In December, ABInBev said a $13 billion tranche C which
matures in November 2011 had been reduced to $5.2 billion, and a
$13 billion D tranche maturing in November 2013 had been reduced
to $12 billion.
Highly-rated blue-chip borrowers like Henkel (HNKG_p.DE)
(HNKG.DE) and Philips (PHG.AS) are taking advantage of lower
loan pricing and longer five-year loan tenors to cut borrowing
costs and stretch the maturity of their debt [ID:nLDE61A1VS].
ABInBev is rated BBB+ by Standard & Poor's and Baa2 by
BBB/Baa2 rated Telecom Italia (TLIT.MI) recently closed a
1.25 billion euro, three-year financing which pays 130 basis
points over EURIBOR, compared to ABInBev's 175 basis points
margin on its existing loan, according to Thomson Reuters LPC
ABInBev was not available to comment.
(Editing by Dan Lalor)