Debt-Plagued Level 3 Confirms Plans to Refinance $1.4 Billion Loan

By Josh Long Comments
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Level 3 Communications Inc. on Wednesday announced some plans affecting its financing.

The global communications carrier revealed its subsidiary Level 3 Financing is seeking to refinance an existing $1.4 billion senior secured loan and that the same subsidiary plans to offer $400 million in senior notes in a proposed private offering to qualified institutional investors.

Level 3's plans to refinance the senior secured loan already had been reported in the press and by the credit ratings agencies. Level 3 also noted it also plans to amend its senior secured credit facility.

The existing $1.4 billion loan matures in 2014, according to Standard & Poor's Ratings Services.

Commenting on Level 3's proposed new loan, Fitch Ratings said Level 3 has adequate liquidity. The company lists pro forma debt of $8.786 billion as of June 30, 2012. But Level 3 doesn't have to worry about paying off significant debt anytime soon.

"LVLT does not have any significant maturities scheduled during 2012 and Fitch believes LVLT's pro forma cash position is sufficient to address 2013 maturities which total approximately $172 million while funding anticipated free cash flow deficits during 2012," Fitch wrote. "Considering the successful execution of the proposed credit facilities, LVLT's next scheduled maturity is not until 2015 when approximately $775 million of debt is scheduled to mature."

Colorado-based Level 3 plans to use the proceeds from the $400 million offering to redeem a portion of senior notes that are due in 2017. The new debt will mature in 2020.

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