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Spain's El Corte Ingles in 3.8 billion euro debt refinancing deal

A customer leaves an El Corte Ingles department store in Madrid August 27, 2012. REUTERS/Sergio Perez
A customer leaves an El Corte Ingles department store in Madrid August 27, 2012. REUTERS/Sergio Perez

MADRID (Reuters) - Spanish department store El Corte Ingles, the country's largest privately held company, said on Monday it had reached a deal to refinance three quarters of its 5 billion euro ($6.7 billion) debt.

El Corte Ingles, one of Spain's largest employers and most venerable retailers, has been hit by austerity and falling sales and has cut prices to compete with cheaper retailers, particularly in the food sector.

The chain said in a statement it had agreed with lenders Santander , BBVA , CaixaBank , Sabadell , Popular and Bankia to refinance 76 percent of its debt, or 3.8 billion euros. The new loans will mature in 2021.

El Corte Ingles also said assets worth 7.4 billion euros and annual revenues of around 15 billion euros would help it persuade other banks to refinance the remainder of its debt.

(Reporting by Julien Toyer; Editing by David Cowell)

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