New agreement on 4.5 billion syndicated loan signed
Terms through 2016 and 2018 further improving Continental's debt maturity profile
Higher degree of security thanks to geographically broader consortium of banks
Hanover, January 23, 2013. The international automotive supplier Continental has signed a new syndicated loan agreement, thereby further improving its debt maturity profile. Committed to by approximately 30 domestic and international banks, the credit amount has been reduced slightly. It now totals 4.5 billion and is split up into two tranches of differing duration - a loan in the amount of 1.5 billion, with a term of three years, and a five-year revolving credit line in the amount of 3 billion. For the new syndicated loan, Continental has been able to obtain the release of the asset collateral previously put up for the financing and has also implemented further simplifications with regards to the documentation.
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The new loan agreement not only improves our financing and debt maturity profile but also puts our financing on a geographically broader footing, reported Continental CFO Wolfgang Schäfer following the signing of the new agreement, adding: This will enable us to better absorb regional fluctuations in the global capital market environment in the future and generally respond more flexibly to volatile markets. The great trust that the banks have again demonstrated gives us renewed confidence that with our long-term strategy, we are pursuing the right path for Continental.
Mainly by launching five bonds and generating free cash flow (FCF), the DAX 30 company had, in the interim, been able to reduce almost 9 billion off the original 13.5 billion syndicated loan agreed in 2007. In the last three years, the company's net indebtedness has dropped by more than 2.5 billion. At the end of the 3rd quarter of 2012, it stood at 6.8 billion. The gearing ratio (net indebtedness divided by total equity) amounted to 78 percent at that point in time. Continental closed the third quarter of 2012 with unused credit line commitments in the amount of just under 2.6 billion. Up until then, the company had availed a mere 602 million of the 2.5 billion revolving credit line under the terms of the previous syndicated loan.
On March 7, 2013, Continental will present preliminary figures for fiscal year 2012 at its Annual Press Conference in Frankfurt/Main.