(Adds loan details)
By Alasdair Reilly
LONDON, April 25 (LPC) - US cable operator Comcast Corp said on Wednesday that it is backing its offer for Sky Plc with £23bn (US$32.06bn) of loans.
The financing was arranged by Bank of America Merrill Lynch as administrative agent and Wells Fargo as syndication agent, both banks acting as joint lead arrangers and joint bookrunners.
There is an up to £16bn 364-day unsecured bridge loan and an up to £7bn of unsecured term loans.
The bridge loan is expected to be replaced, in whole or in part, by senior unsecured bonds in a public offering or private placement.
The bridge loan pays a margin tied to ratings stepping up over time, ranging from 75bp to 200bp over Libor.
BAML committed £2.8bn of the bridge loan while Wells Fargo committed £2.08bn.
Credit Suisse, Mizuho Bank, MUFG and SMBC each committed £1.44bn, while BNP Paribas, RBC and TD Bank each committed £880m.
Commerzbank, DNB, Societe Generale, PNC Bank and US Bank each committed £544m.
The term loans, which are available in US dollars and sterling, comprise a £3bn three-year loan and a £4bn five-year loan.
Pricing on the term loans is also tied to ratings with the three-year facility paying between 62.5bp and 112.5bp over Libor and the five-year facility paying between 75bp and 125bp over Libor.
BAML committed £1.225bn to the term loans, while Wells Fargo committed £910m.
Credit Suisse, Mizuho Bank, MUFG and SMBC each committed £630m, while BNP Paribas, RBC and TD Bank each committed £385m.
Commerzbank, DNB, Societe Generale, PNC Bank and US Bank each committed £238m.
Comcast’s £12.50 per share offer represents a premium of around 16% over a rival offer from Twenty-First Century Fox , valuing Sky at around £22bn.
Sky withdrew its recommendation for Fox’s bid on Wednesday and will now engage with both Comcast and Fox over the potential takeover. ($1 = 0.7174 pounds) (Editing by Chris Mangham)