Kraft Foods Inc, which has secured a $9 billion bridge loan backing an expected bid for UK confectioner Cadbury, has been contacted by more banks keen to join the deal, senior bankers said on Wednesday.
The $9 billion loan is being led by Citigroup, Deutsche Bank and HSBC, a senior banker close to the deal said, adding that up to seven banks have already been approached in a second wave of selldown, including Barclays Bank, and more are eager to lend.
There will be six other banks, maybe more. Kraft is having its doors beaten down by hordes of banks trying to get into this deal, one of the three lead banks said.
Kraft could not be immediately contacted for comment.
The loan is expected to be structured as a bridge loan to a bond issue with a short-term maturity and pricing step ups to encourage bond refinancing, which banks find attractive as a well-priced piece of paper offering relatively low risk.
Banks have committed to provide funding for Kraft's bid but attention is now switching to Kraft's bid strategy and tactics as the company readies its bid before a Nov 9 deadline.
Kraft has ready access to a lot of cash if it wants, I don't view cash as the driver here, its the M&A process. It's all about the price Kraft is willing to pay, the hostile nature of the situation and bid tactics, the senior banker said.
Bankers are awaiting further details of exactly what they will be financing including the precise split between cash and shares -- currently set at 60 percent equity and 40 percent cash -- that could make a deal more palatable to Cadbury.
The equity/cash split is still not known which is a key component of the bid. Kraft is working to deliver something that Cadbury's board will ultimately recommend, the senior banker said.
(Reporting by Tessa Walsh and Smita Madhur; Editing by Jon Loades-Carter)