RLPC-Sanofi secures 4 bln euro loan extension -sources

LONDON, Oct 21 (Reuters) - French pharmaceuticals giant Sanofi-Aventis SASY.PA has secured a 4 billion euro ($5.97 billion) loan extension, banking sources said on Wednesday.

The facility extends the maturity of an existing 3.7 billion euro liquidity back-up loan by a year, the sources said.

Some lenders chose to increase their existing commitments to the deal and the loan was subsequently raised from the target amount of 3.7 billion euros, two bankers said.

Despite the increase, lenders’ commitments were scaled back, one of the sources said.

The self-arranged loan is the rump of a 5 billion euro loan that was arranged in 2005, and contained four one-year extension options.

The margin on the loan remains unchanged from last year at 40 basis points (bps) over Euribor, sources said.

BNP Paribas and Societe Generale were joint bookrunners and mandated lead arrangers on the transaction.

Sanofi is rated AA- by Standard & Poor’s and A1 by Moody’s. (Reporting by Alasdair Reilly & Zaida Espana, editing by Will Waterman) ($1=.6697 Euro)