French media group Vivendi is reportedly seeking loans worth EUR7 billion (USD9.5 billion) in order to demerge its telecoms unit SFR from its media business, Bloomberg reports. According to two people familiar with the matter, the financing consists of a EUR1.5 billion credit line and EUR5.5 billion in term loans, including a EUR1.75 billion credit facility with 18-month maturity, a three-year EUR1.75 billion credit facility and a five-year EUR2 billion loan. The company is said to be in negotiations with as many as 16 banks to provide the financing, which will be part-repaid after a planned stock listing, in addition to a sale of bonds to replace some of the loans. The newly established companies will reportedly seek investment-grade credit ratings after the spinoff.
Jean-Yves Charlier, SFR’s chairman and CEO, stated that the company is still working on the technical aspects of the spinoff, noting: ‘We are looking at the allocation of debt between SFR and Vivendi and discussing that with ratings agencies.’