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Qtel comes calling for $2 billion loan bankers


Qatar Telecom QTEL. QA has sent requests for proposals to international lenders for a $2 billion refinancing loan that will mark its return to the market after a two-year gap, bankers close to the deal said."It is one of the few corporates in Qatar that is able to access the market. It is right that Qtel gets centre stage," one European banker said. Its record as an annual borrower since 2007 -- with the exception of 2011 -- of more than $2 billion should help generate momentum for the deal.

Qtel, the Gulf's third-largest telecoms operator in terms of subscriber numbers with 83 million, declined to comment. The top-rated company wants to split financing between a $1 billion standby commercial paper facility and a $1 billion revolver. Proceeds will refinance its $3 billion, five-year loan signed in 2007 that matures this October.

Rated A by S&P, A2 by Moody's and A+ by Fitch, Qtel plans to expand through acquisitions and grow organically, chief executive Nasser Marafih told Reuters in March. Its plans include the potential buyout of a private equity partner's stake in Iraq's No.2 telecoms operator, Asiacell, before offering shares in it to the public, other people close to the company told Reuters in January.

Loan activity in the oil-rich state has been subdued since 2007 because corporates and financial institutions are flush with cash, while many international lenders are grappling with a liquidity crunch. However, volume may be boosted this year by Qatar's $5.2 billion of maturing debt, according to Thomson Reuters LPC data.

Rlpc bayer signs $142 bln acquisition loan


Bayer has signed a $14.2 billion acquisition loan backing its purchase of US-based Merck's consumer care business, the lead banks said in a statement on Wednesday. The loan was underwritten on an equal basis by mandated lead arrangers and bookrunners Bank of America Merrill Lynch, BNP Paribas and Mizuho Bank and saw strong support from Bayer's core relationship banks with 23 banks joining in syndication. Mandated led arrangers were BBVA, Santander, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Barclays, Citigroup, Commerzbank, Credit Agricole CIB, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, JP Morgan, RBS, Societe Generale, SMBC and Unicredit.

Lead arrangers were ANZ, Bank of New York Mellon, BayernLB, ING, Intesa SanPaolo, Helaba and SEB.

The financing comprises a $12.2 billion bridge to capital markets facility and a $2 billion medium-term facility. The one-year bridge loan pays 25 basis points (bps) over Libor, while the four-year facility pays 50 bps, as previously reported. (ID:nRLP49395a)The bridge loan is expected to be taken out in the capital markets through a combination of senior and hybrid corporate bonds.

The financing is Bayer's largest loan financing since its 16.5 billion euro ($22.35 billion) acquisition of domestic rival Schering in 2006, which was funded with a 7 billion euro syndicated loan and a 7 billion euro bridge loan via Citigroup and Credit Suisse. Bayer is rated A- by Standard & Poor's, A3 by Moody's and A by Fitch. ($1 = 0.7383 Euros)