BAE Systems agrees 2 bln pound loan refinancing

A union flag flies over the entrance to the naval dockyards, where BAE Systems are also located, in Portsmouth, southern England November 6, 2013. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

By Alasdair Reilly

LONDON (Reuters) - UK aerospace and defence firm BAE Systems has signed a 2 billion pounds ($3.26 billion) revolving credit facility, the company said in an emailed statement on Friday.

BBB+/Baa2 rated BAE has taken advantage of competitive loan market conditions to refinance an existing 2 billion pounds revolving credit early.

That loan, which was agreed in December 2010 and was due to mature in 2015, paid a margin of 67.5 basis points (bps) over LIBOR.

Average pricing for triple B rated loans fell by 27 percent in the third quarter of 2013 to 48 bps, according to Thomson Reuters LPC data.

The existing loan has been cancelled and replaced with the new five-year financing which has two one-year extension options and was agreed with a group of 25 core relationship banks, banking sources said.

The self-arranged facility is for general corporate purposes but will also act as a backup line for BAE's commercial paper programme.

($1 = 0.6143 British pounds)

(Reporting by Tessa Walsh)