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LONDON, Jan 10 (Reuters) - French drugmaker Sanofi has cut pricing and extended the maturity of an existing 7 billion euro ($9.51 billion)syndicated credit line, the company said in an email on Friday.
AA/A1 rated Sanofi has joined other highly-rated European companies such as French utility EDF and German consumer goods maker Henkel to take advantage of competitive loan market conditions to amend and extend existing credit facilities to lower pricing and lock in liquidity over a longer period of time.
Sanofi extended the maturity of its financing, the majority of which was due to mature in July 2017, to December 2018 and restated two one-year extension options.
The facility, which does not contain financial covenants or rating grid, has been repriced in line with current market conditions, the company said.
Pricing is likely to have come down considerably from the 45 basis points (bps) agreed on the original deal in 2010, banking sources said.
In December 2013, A+/Aa3 rated EDF extended the maturity of its existing 4 billion euro syndicated loan by three years and cut pricing to just 20 bps from 35 bps previously, while A/A2 rated Henkel repriced and refinanced two existing financings totalling 1.5 billion euros to bring pricing down to 22.5 bps, from 75 bps and 40 bps, previously. ($1 = 0.7361 euros) (Editing by Christopher Mangham)