LONDON Banks have been asked to gauge by the end of this week the appetite for a 1.5 billion-pound ($2.26 billion) syndicated loan to back the planned privatization of Britain's Royal Mail Group IPO-RMG.L, banking sources said.
A group of around 10 banks are looking at the financing, which is expected to consist of a revolving credit facility and a term loan and will provide working capital to the group before its planned stock market flotation, two senior bankers said.
Royal Mail declined to comment.
The financing is at an early stage, and the timetable of the deal will be driven by the privatization, one of the bankers said.
Rothschild is advising Royal Mail on the financing, bankers said previously [ID:nL6N0DQ3GW].
Royal Mail's flotation is expected to take place this autumn. The group has 150,000 staff and annual sales of 9.5 billion pounds ($14.7 billion). British media reports have put a likely stock market value of between 2 billion pounds and 3 billion on the company.
Last December Royal Mail appointed Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs to work alongside Barclays as its financial advisers. UBS has been advising the government.
($1=0.6638 British pounds)
(Additional reporting Alasdair Reilly; Editing by Greg Mahlich)