Tata Steel plans to raise up to $5.5 billion to refinance Corus debt

Tata Steel is in talks with banks to raise loans between $4.5 billion and $5.5 billion to refinance debt at its European unit Corus, its managing director H M Nerurkar said.

Tata Steel the world's No 7 steelmaker, had last month said it was looking to refinance existing debt based on the extension of the period and flexibility of terms.

The company had reported net debt of $9.5 billion as of the quarter ended June 2010.

"We are in talks with bankers for refinancing our European loans," Nerurkar said. He, however, did not name the bank or give any timeframe.

Corus Steel, Tata Steel's European arm, accounts for two-thirds of its global capacity of about 30 million tonnes, while the Indian operations contribute a quarter. Its Southeast Asian operations account for the remaining.

Reports had earlier said that Tata Steel was selling its South African plant, which has an annual capacity of 150,000 tonnes. The plant produces high carbon ferrochrome and charge chrome.