Freescale to Weigh Cutting Rate on Debt to Lower Interest Costs

Freescale Semiconductor Ltd. will consider whether to reprice a term loan when the cost of doing so drops in September and may refinance bonds next year as it seeks to further cut interest costs, said Treasurer Steven Goel.

The producer of analog chips and network processors may seek a lower rate on $798 million of loans that pay at least 5 percent when the debt no longer costs an extra 1 cent on the dollar to reprice starting Sept. 11, Goel said. The company cut the cost of $2.7 billion of its other term loans in March to pay about 4.25 percent, saving $20 million in interest expense, Goel said.

Freescale will evaluate whether it wants to refinance about $852 million of bonds when early payment costs decline next year, Goel said.

“What I put my focus on is how do we chip away at the higher cost debt and continue to bring down interest expense,” Goel said in a March 27 interview in his Austin office. “I think there will be an opportunity for us to refinance this unsecured debt and get a better rate than we get now.”

Freescale was purchased by private-equity firms including Blackstone Group LP and TPG Capital for $16.2 billion in 2006, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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