Caterpillar seeks fresh $3 billion loan to boost liquidity: source

FILE PHOTO: Caterpillar Inc. equipment is on display for sale at a retail site in San Diego, California, U.S., March 3, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake

(Reuters) - Caterpillar Inc CAT.N is in talks with banks for a fresh $3 billion nine-month revolving credit facility, a person familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

The development comes days after the world’s biggest construction and mining equipment maker raised $2 billion through the bond market.

Caterpillar said last month its financial position was strong. The company ended 2019 with $8.3 billion in cash and available credit facilities of $10.5 billion.

The Deerfield, Illinois-headquartered company had also said it would withhold annual salary increases for senior executives, managers and salaried employees to contain costs due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on its business.

Caterpillar also withdrew its 2020 earnings forecast in late March and suspended some operations, citing uncertainty caused by the pandemic, which has dented equipment sales and hit supply chains.

The rapid spread of the new coronavirus, which has infected 1.5 million people globally and led to nearly 90,000 deaths, has forced countries into lockdowns, disrupting everything from businesses to everyday life.

Since the outbreak, leading companies across the world have rushed to bolster their cash reserves as the pandemic wreaks havoc on the global economy.

Caterpillar did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Bloomberg first reported the company’s move to raise fresh money.

Reporting by Joshua Franklin in New York and Rachit Vats in Bengaluru, additonal reporting by Saumya Sibi Joseph; Editing by Aditya Soni and Anil D’Silva