Ireland's ESB signs 1.35 billion euro credit facility

LONDON Wed Feb 13, 2013 12:41pm GMT

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LONDON (Reuters) - Ireland's Electricity Supply Board (ESB) said on Wednesday that it has signed a 1.35 billion euro (1.17 billion pounds) credit facility to replace an existing financing which was due to mature within the next two years.

The new five-year facility was provided Barclays, BBVA, BNP Paribas, Danske Bank, RBC, RBS/Ulster Bank, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, HSBC, Societe Generale, Deutsche Bank, Bank of Ireland, AIB and JP Morgan.

Royal Bank of Scotland acted as coordinator for the transaction.

ESB is replacing two 750 million euro revolving credit facilities arranged in 2010 that are due to mature in each of 2014 and 2015.

ESB tapped the loan market in September 2010 for around 2.5 billion euros of loans to refinance existing standby facilities and to fund its acquisition of Northern Ireland Electricity (NIE) from Arcapita-owned Viridian.

That financing comprised an 810 million pound bridge loan used to part-fund the acquisition and two revolving credit facilities of 750 million euros each that replaced ESB's existing 1.2 billion euro standby liquidity facilities that were due to mature in 2012.

ESB is rated BBB+ by Standard & Poor's, Baa3 by Moody's and BBB+ by Fitch.

(Reporting by Alasdair Reilly, Editing by Louise Heavens)