Tata Steel to finalise $5.4-bn Corus debt refinance

Tata Steel, which early this month announced plans to refinance up to $5.4 billion of its outstanding loans, today said it would finalise fresh loans for its British unit, Tata Steel Europe (earlier Corus), this week.

Tata Steel vice chairman B Muthuraman"Yes, the refinance plan for Corus is happening this week," Tata Steel vice chairman B Muthuraman said today. He, however, declined to name the banks arranging the refinance.

With the volatility in commodity prices affecting steel prices across the board, Tata Steel also reported flat sales in the June quarter.
"Steel prices are going up and going down, which is a cyclical thing. There is nothing to talk about. Demand is good," Murthuraman said.

Tata Steel, which is nursing a debt of around $9.5 billion is planning to refinance around $4.5-5.5 billion of its outstanding European loans.

Tata Steel had taken the loans in 2007 to fund its $12.9 billion acquisition of Corus. The loan was taken before the financial meltdown in the US and Europe.

Corus, with a 30 million tonne annual production capacity, currently accounts for two-thirds of Tata Steel's total capacity, The company is now looking to raise production at its Indian facility by up to 21 million tonnes per annum by 2012.