By Alasdair Reilly and Tessa Walsh
LONDON, March 1 (Reuters) - Telecom Italia has launched senior syndication of a 4 billion euro ($5.33 billion) forward-start loan facility that will be used to extend the maturity of part of an 8 billion euro facility when it matures in August 2014, bankers said.
The new financing is being coordinated by Banca IMI and Barclays Capital and is expected to see strong support from relationship banks, a senior banker said.
Telecom Italia was not immediately available for comment.
Pricing on Telecom Italia’s new deal will provide a new benchmark for Italian loans after power utility Enel successfully signed a 3.2 billion euro loan refinancing in February, another senior banker said.
A-/A3 rated Enel paid a margin of 300 basis points (bps) over EURIBOR for its heavily drawn financing, but Telecom Italia could secure its financing for less despite carrying a lower rating of BBB/Baa2, the second banker said. ($1 = 0.7501 euros) (Reporting by Alasdair Reilly; Editing by Will Waterman)