Sprint Nextel Closes New Bank Credit Facility
* $6.0 Billion New Revolving Credit Facility
* $3.2 Billion New Term Loan Refinances Existing Nextel Loans; Existing Sprint Capital Facility to Remain in Place
* Liquidity Increased by About $2 Billion
* Interest Rate Reduced; Revolver Maturity Extended
RESTON, Va. — 12/19/2005, Sprint Nextel Corp. (NYSE: S) today announced that it has entered into a new 5-year $6 billion revolving credit facility and a new 364-day $3.2 billion term loan, replacing the $4 billion revolving credit facility and $2.2 billion term loan under the Nextel Communications credit facility. The new term loan will be used to refinance the outstanding term loan and revolving credit loans under the Nextel facility with the revolving credit facility available for future borrowings and to support letters of credit.
Sprint Nextel also announced its intention to terminate its two accounts-receivable securitization facilities, which currently provide up to $1.2 billion in additional borrowing capacity. Sprint Nextel’s existing 364-day $1 billion revolving credit facility will remain in place. As a net result of these transactions, Sprint Nextel’s available liquidity has increased by about $2 billion.
Under the new revolving credit facility, the full $6 billion commitment will remain available until final maturity in 2010 and also may be used to secure letters of credit. The company’s existing $2.5 billion letter of credit issued earlier this year by eight of the banks under the Nextel facility in accordance with the FCC’s 800 MHz Report and Order will remain outstanding with the same issuing banks and supported by the new revolving credit facility.
The new revolving credit facility also can be used to support commercial paper programs and for other general corporate purposes. The credit agreement governing the new facility includes terms that provide Sprint Nextel with greater operating flexibility, and also has simplified covenants consistent with the company’s strong credit profile and investment grade ratings.
“This represents another important financial milestone for Sprint Nextel,” said Paul Saleh, Sprint Nextel’s chief financial officer. “Our company’s strong financial results, positive credit ratings trajectory, and favorable bank market conditions combined to produce exceptional demand for our new facility. We are enhancing our liquidity while at the same time reducing our interest rates, extending the maturity of our revolver and improving our operating flexibility.”
At closing, Sprint Nextel borrowed all $3.2 billion of the new term loan to repay the outstanding balance of the existing term loan A ($2.2 billion) and revolving credit facility ($1 billion) under the Nextel facility. Under the terms of the new facility, Sprint Nextel has reduced its borrowing costs on both the “drawn” and “undrawn” portions of the revolving credit facility, and expects to realize annual savings of approximately $18 million, based on current debt ratings and assuming consistent borrowing levels. The new revolving credit facility also provides for additional reductions in borrowing costs to the extent that Sprint Nextel’s debt ratings improve.
About Sprint Nextel
Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline communications services to consumer, business and government customers. Sprint Nextel is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including two robust wireless networks offering industry leading mobile data services; instant national and international walkie-talkie capabilities; and an award-winning and global Tier 1 Internet backbone. For more information, visit www.sprint.com/mr.
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