J.P. Morgan & Co. is leading a $4.75 billion bridge loan to Fortis, the Belgian-Dutch financial services group, for its buyout of Generale de Banque, Paris.

Fortis is expected to repay the loan once it completes a stock and debt securities offering this fall.

Morgan is leading the loan with a syndication group that includes ASLK- CGER Bank, Banque Nationale de Paris, Credit Communal de Belgique SA, Deutsche Bank de Bary, KredietBank NV, J.P. Morgan Securities Ltd., and Rabobank Nederland.

The loan, which will be marketed to a selected group of mostly European banks, is a 364-day revolving credit facility priced at 0.3% above the London interbank offered rate. If not repaid, the price increases to 0.35% over Libor on Dec. 31.

General syndication is slated to begin today, a market source said. No bank meeting is planned.

Morgan developed its relationship with Fortis in 1996 when it led an $850 million syndication for a Fortis financing. Morgan also advised on the Fortis buyout of General de Banque. Fortis fended off a rival bid from ABN Amro.

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