[Ferro-Alloys.com] Tata SteelNSE -1.51 % is raising as much as $500 million through syndicated overseas loans to fund expansion and refinance debt, said people with knowledge of the matter.
Three-fourths of the amount will be used for the Rs 23,500-crore, second-phase expansion of its Kalinganagar steel plant in Odisha that will raise capacity by 5 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) to 8 mtpa, they said. The rest will go toward refinancing debt to save on interest costs amid falling rates.
“This is part of the routine financing programme as we look at market opportunities to diversify our debt portfolio,” said Tata Steel chief financial officer Koushik Chatterjee. This will be “within the overall target debt levels”. He didn’t elaborate on the sum that’s being raised.
The company is in talks with several foreign banks to raise the five-to-six-year money. They include Citi, Standard Chartered, First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB), Credit Agricole Corp and BNP, sources said. The banks couldn’t be contacted immediately.
“This is an unsecured loan — that’s why no domestic bank may be participating as they mostly seek collateral against any credit,” said one of the persons cited above. The loan could be priced at 215 basis points over the dollar-based London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor). While such overseas funding helps diversify borrowing sources, it could be beneficial in terms of cost as well, said an executive. A basis point is 0.01 percentage point.
The Kalingangar expansion began in November 2018 and is scheduled to be completed in four years.