Air Liquide Said to Seek Extension of 1 Billion-Euro Credit Line

Air Liquide SA, the French maker of industrial gases, is seeking to extend the maturity of a 1 billion-euro ($1.4 billion) credit line three years before its maturity, according to three people with knowledge of the request.

The company has asked lenders for a five-year extension of the facility, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private. The Paris-based firm is offering to pay an interest margin of 25 basis points, or 0.25 percentage point, more than benchmark rates, 20 basis points lower than it paid on the existing debt.

Air Liquide joins Electricite de France SA and Pernod Ricard SA in seeking to capitalize on competition among banks keen to lend to the most creditworthy companies. The interest margin paid by Europe’s investment-grade borrowers fell to an average of 61 basis points this year, the lowest since an average 75 basis points paid in 2007, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

A spokeswoman for Air Liquide, who asked not to be named citing company policy, declined to comment on the financing.

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