LONDON British cigarette maker Imperial Tobacco has closed loans of about $13 billion to back its acquisition of selected brands and assets from Reynolds American Inc, the lead banks said on Monday.
The jumbo financing covers the $7.1 billion acquisition and refinances Imperial's existing core bank borrowings, which provide working capital and funds for general corporate purposes.
Fourteen banks joined underwriters, mandated lead arrangers and bookrunners on the financing: BNP Paribas, Royal Bank of Scotland and Banco Santander.
The deal closed oversubscribed and all the banks' commitments were scaled back.
Mandated lead arrangers joining the financing were BBVA, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Bank of China, Barclays Bank, Commerzbank, Credit Agricole CIB, HSBC Bank, Intesa Sanpaolo, Mizuho Bank, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp, Societe Generale, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ and Unicredit Bank. Wells Fargo was lead arranger.
The acquisition financing includes a $4.1 billion term loan with a one-year maturity and a one-year extension option; a $1.5 billion three-year term loan and a $1.5 billion five-year term loan.
The refinancing and working capital facilities include a 1 billion euro ($1.3 billion) revolving credit facility with a maturity of 18 months and three six-month extension options, and a 2.835 billion euro five-year revolving credit with two one-year extension options.
A 500 million pound ($830.5 million) five-year revolving credit with two one-year extension options is also included.
Imperial agreed to acquire a portfolio of U.S. cigarette brands, Winston, Maverick, Kool, Salem and U.S. and international e-cigarette brand blu from Reynolds, after Reynolds announced its merger with Lorillard.
Imperial will also take over Lorillard's national sales force, offices and production facilities.
BBB/Baa3 rated Imperial expects to maintain an investment grade credit rating on its debt after the acquisition.
Imperial has suspended a share buy-back program of 500 million pounds a year to speed its debt repayment.
(1 US dollar = 0.7614 euro)
(1 US dollar = 0.6021 British pound)
(Reporting by Alasdair Reilly; editing by David Clarke)