Two U.S. investment banks and three German banks have won the mandate to arrange a $8 billion bridge loan to Mannesmann AG, the Germany's largest wireless phone service company.

Merrill Lynch & Co., Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co., Deutsche Bank AG, WestLB Group, and Bayerische Landesbank Girozentrale are joint arrangers of the credit facility to help Mannesmann's $36 billion agreement to buy the U.K. wireless company Orange PLC.

The facility has a duration of 364 days and is priced at the London interbank offered rate plus 50 basis points, according to a person involved in the deal.

Mannesmann is being advised by Merrill and Morgan Stanley in the acquisition agreement, which was announced Oct. 21.

-- Laura Mandaro

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