RIO DE JANEIRO, Oct 21 (Reuters) - The board of directors of Gerdau SA, Latin America's largest steelmaker, approved a plan to borrow as much as $1 billion from international banks to finance working capital, the company said Wednesday in a Brazilian securities filing.
The loan will be organized by the Banco Santander Brasil SA , the Brazilian unit of Spain's Banco Santander SA , and seek contributions from up to 12 "first-line" banks, the statement said.
Under the plan, the loan is to be for three years with the option to extend it for two more years.
Gerdau has seen the price of its preferred shares, the company's most-traded class of stock, slip 43 percent in the last year as a Brazilian recession and weak world steel market crimp sales and revenue.
Reporting by Jeb Blount; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama