Caterpillar in Discussions to Raise $3 Billion in Debt to Bolster Liquidity

Caterpillar is seeking a credit facility that could be increased to about $5 billion in total, according to a report Thursday.
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Shares of Caterpillar  (CAT) - Get Report were falling Thursday following a report that the company is in talks with banks to raise a new $3 billion, nine-month revolving credit facility in order to bolster its liquidity. 

The credit facility could be increased to about $5 billion in total, sources told Bloomberg, with Citibank  (C) - Get Report leading the talks. 

Other banks involved in discussions cited by Bloomberg include Bank of America  (BAC) - Get Report, JPMorgan Chase  (JPM) - Get Report and Societe Generale SA. 

Caterpillar shares declined 2.1% to $124.70 Thursday afternoon. 

Last week, Caterpillar announced that Chief Executive Officer Jim Umpleby, as well as other senior executives, management and salaried workers will forgo a base-pay increase this year as part of the industrial equipment maker's efforts to cut costs amid a global economic slowdown due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Two weeks ago, Caterpillar pulled its 2020 outlook and announced the suspension of some operations due to a lack of visibility around when business will pick back up.

The company also confirmed that it laid off employees at its East Peoria building as part of actions taken to reduce production due to weak customer demand. 

"We have faced and overcome many challenges during our 95-year history. Working together, I am confident we will emerge even stronger after the impact of the pandemic subsides," Umpleby said in a memo to employees last week.

Caterpillar also announced this week that it is maintaining its regular divided payout of $1.03 per share for this quarter. 

The dividend will be paid May 20 to shareholders of record as of April 20.