The financial types at Lionsgate are working overtime to take advantage of today’s super low interest rates — and prepare for the 2013 expiration of a major five-year credit facility. The company is just beginning to chat with banks about a new credit line of as much as $750M to replace the current $340M facility which expires next July. The funds would be used for general corporate purposes. It hasn’t chosen a lead banker yet although JP Morgan, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America are strong candidates. The talks are taking place as Lionsgate — enjoying its windfall from The Hunger Games –seizes opportunities to pay down its existing, and often high-priced, debt. The company noted in an investor presentation last week that in six months it has reduced its $500M term loan from the Summit Entertainment acquisition to $299M. It’s getting rid of $23.5M in 3.625% convertible notes by exchanging the debt for equity. The first tranche took place on Monday, and the second will be this coming Monday. Also, with interest rates at record lows, the company likely will refinance $436M in high yield debt, at about 10%, to a more reasonable rate of around 3%.
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