EDF chooses Lovells to advise on credit facility

Lovells’ Paris office has acted for Electricite de France (EDF) on a new credit facility, underlining the power of the borrowers in the European loan markets.

At e6bn (£4.17bn), the multi-currency revolving credit facility is one of the largest in the market. EDF is the latest in a growing number of borrowers to refinance its previous five-year facility, originally negotiated in 2003, for this new seven-year deal, which has no financial covenants. The company, which is currently rated AA minus, is embarking on a partial flotation – possibly up to e11bn (£7.64bn) – later this year.

The Lovells team was led by Sharon Lewis, assisted by Susan Hopkinson and Elsa Imbernon. Lewis replaced David Hudd as the global head of capital markets in February when Hudd became head of finance upon David Harris’s accession to managing partner.

Lewis said Lovells got the mandate for the original 2003 facility following work on EDF’s medium-term note and commercial paper programmes. “[EDF] saw that the market was a good one for borrowers, so decided to refinance now,” said Lewis.

The banking syndicate consisted of ABN Amro, Barclays, BNP Paribas, Calyon, HSBC CCF, Citibank, Dresdner, JPMorgan, Royal Bank of Scotland and Société Générale, with Calyon as facility agent.

Linklaters Paris partner Nathalie Hobbs, with Giovanna Trucco, advised the banks. Hobbs said: “This deal is indicative of trends in the market… There’s lots of liquidity.”