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Sogecable grabs improved credit line

Move confirms strength of Spanish fee-vee market leader

MADRID — Underscoring its rising cache with the financial sector, dominant Spanish pay TV player Sogecable has pulled down a significantly improved long-term credit facility worth Euros1.2 billion ($1.45 billion).

The syndicated loan replaces a financing line for $1.625 billion that was pulled down in August 2003.

This facility came with an initial interest rate of 2% above the Euribor European inter-bank lending rate. The new credit terms reduce interest to 0.95% above Euribor.

The interest rate will range between 0.5% and 1.15% above Euribor, depending on Sogecable’s debt ratios. The previous debt-spread ran at 0.9% to 2.5%.

“The reduction of the debt spread in the refinancing indicates the greater confidence of bank entities in Sogecable’s capacity to generate cash-flow and the stability of that capacity,” said Javier Marin, an analyst at Morgan Stanley.

The loan is covered by 12 lead arrangers including Spanish banks BBVA and Banesto and savings banks La Caixa and Caja Madrid, as well as BNP Paribas, the Royal Bank of Scotland, Societe Generale and Sumitono.

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