Verizon Wireless awarded US$17bn Alltel loan

Verizon Wireless, the joint venture between Verizon Communications and Vodafone Group, closed a US$17 billion (€12.94 billion) syndicated loan, the largest in the US this year, according to the Financial Times.

The deal was arranged by Morgan Stanley, Bank of America and Citigroup. It will enable Verizon Wireless to refinance the debt it took on in June when it bought Alltel for US$28.1 billion from TPG and Goldman Sachs.

At time when household names are going bust left, right and centre through a lack of credit and the US' biggest car makers have had to go cap in hand to the state to stay alive, this is a massive vote of confidence in Verizon.

A dozen US and foreign financial institutions were involved.

There had been fears that the worsening financial conditions would force Verizon to abandon the take-over of Alltel, which was given regulatory permission to proceed by the Federal Trade Commission yesterday, thereby incurring a $500m break-up fee.