By Prakash Chakravarti
HONG KONG, March 5 (Reuters) - Indian telecom company Tata Communications Ltd (TCL) is seeking $2 billion in term loans to finance a potential bid for London-listed Cable & Wireless Worldwide as well as to refinance existing debt, sources with knowledge of the matter said.
Last week, TCL announced that it was evaluating a bid for C&W Worldwide. If a bid emerges, it will mark the return to overseas mergers and acquisitions by the Tata Group after a gap of almost three years.
Standard Chartered is M&A adviser to TCL and is almost certainly expected to bag a lead role on the financing backing the bid, the sources said. The loan is likely to have a three- to five-year tenor and is also expected to refinance some existing debt owed by TCL.
A Tata Communications spokeswoman did not respond to calls by Reuters for a comment.
TCL’s most recent visit to the loan market was in June 2011 when it signed a $525 million five-year amortising loan that paid a top-level all-in of 312.5 basis points over Libor. ANZ, RBS and StanChart were the original mandated lead arrangers and bookrunners on that deal.
The borrower was Tata Communications Netherlands, while the guarantors were Tata Communications International Pte Ltd and Tata Communications Ltd.
In May 2006, TCL (under its previous incarnation as Videsh Sanchar Nigam Ltd) borrowed $220m through a five-year loan to fund its acquisition of US-based Teleglobe International Holdings. The facility, borrowed on a recourse basis, paid an all-in of 58 basis points over Libor.