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Etex Lenders Market $1.9 Billion of Loans to Buy Lafarge Assets

Lenders to Etex Group, a Belgian manufacturer of building products, are marketing 1.3 billion euros ($1.9 billion) of loans to help fund its purchase of gypsum assets from Lafarge SA.

The financing includes a five-year 550 million-euro revolving credit, a three-year 300 million-euro term loan, and a one-year 450 million-euro bridge loan due to be refinanced with bonds, according to a person with direct knowledge of the deal.

The loans are being arranged by banks including Credit Agricole CIB, BNP Paribas SA, ING Groep NV, KBC Bank NV, Lloyds Banking Group Plc and Banco Santander SA, said the person, who declined to be identified because the terms are private.

Etex is forging an alliance with Lafarge in Latin America in an attempt to boost its profit from emerging markets as demand for building products remains subdued in Europe. Gypsum-based wallboard is increasing in popularity in the region as an alternative material for walls and ceilings. Officials in Etex’s finance and communications departments didn’t immediately respond to calls seeking comment.

The transaction is valued at 1 billion euros, and Lafarge will get cash proceeds of about 850 million euros from the sale of the European and South American assets, the Paris-based cement maker said when it entered exclusive negotiations with Etex on July 14. It will retain a 20 percent stake in the combined business.

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