Reliance Group Holdings Inc. is expected to price its two-part $650 million offering today, but some junk players say the deal - or at least some of it - may be a tad "rich" for their tastes.
Price talk calls for the $350 million of senior notes due 2000 to yield 8 7/8% to 9 1/8%, while talk of the $300 million of senior subordinated debentures due 2003 is 9 5/8% to 9 7/8%, through lead manager Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette Securities Corp.
"[Reliance] looks a little rich, but we liked Armco," said Kingman D. Penniman, an executive vice president with Duff & Phelps Corp.
"Rich" means investors think the yield is not high enough to compensate for the risk they would assume. Armco is expected to price $125 million of senior notes due 2000 through Salomon Brothers Inc.
Kenneth Malamed, managing director and director of fixed income at Wertheim Schroder Investment Services, observed, "We feel that there [is] better value in the subs than the seniors. The seniors are a little rich."
Reliance's debt offering is part of the company's capital enhancement plan, which also involves the sale of $250 million of common stock, a source familiar with the plan said earlier. The plan aims to reduce the company's total debt, extend maturities, reduce amortization, and cut interest expenses, he said.
In other news, Philadelphia Electric Co. yesterday offered to buy back any and all of its first and refunding mortgage bonds totaling $475 million.
The bonds include the company's 10% series due 2000, 9 7/8% series due 2019, 10% series due 2019, and 10 1/2% series due 2020, the company said in a release.
Goldman, Sachs & Co. will serve as exclusive dealer-manager for the purchase offer.
The purchase price for bonds in each series will be calculated by using the yield to maturity of the benchmark U.S. Treasury designated for such series at the time the holder accepts the offer, plus a fixed spread assigned to each.
The 10% debt of 2000 will use the 8 5/8% Treasury notes of Oct. 15, 1995, as its benchmark, and its fixed spread will be 0.15%.
The 9 7/8% debt of 2019 will use the Treasury's 4% notes due Sept. 30, 1994, and the fixed spread will be 0.10%. The 10% debt of 2019 will use the Treasury's 5% notes due June 30, 1994, and have a 0.10% fixed spread.
The 10 1/2% debt of 2020 will use the Treasury's 8 5/8% notes due Oct. 15, 1995, and have a 0.15% fixed spread.
Philadelphia Electric Co. will also pay accrued interest on the bonds up to but excluding the settlement date. Bondholders can get a quote of the purchase price for the bonds at a given time by calling 800-828-3182.
Deadline for the purchase is 5 p.m. New York City time on Nov. 10, unless Philadelphia decides to extend it or terminate it early.
In secondary trading, high-yield bonds lost 1/4 to 1/2 point.
"The market seemed a little bit nervous here today," one trader said. "It seemed like everything sold off." The losses were not dramatic, however, he said. The trader attributed the weakness to nervousness concerning the Treasury market, the give-up of some gains by media companies, and concern over new supply.
Spreads on high-grade issues over all remained unchanged as corporates followed Treasuries lower. One trader noted continued slight widening in utility issues.
The Student Loan Marketing Association issued $700 million of floating rate notes due 1998. Noncallable for a year, the notes float weekly at 19 basis points more than the bond equivalent yield for three-month Treasuries and pay quarterly. Lehman Brothers was lead manager.
PNC Bank came to market with issued $500 million of 3.65% bank notes due Nov. 10, 1994, at par. The noncallable notes were priced to yield 12 basis points' more than the Treasury's one-year bill. Moddy's Investors Service rates the offering Aa3, while Standard & Poor's Corp. rates it A-plus. Morgan Stanley & Co. managed the offering.
Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. sold $300 million of 4.625% debentures due 1996. Noncallable for a year, the debentures were priced at par to yield 20 basis points above comparable Treasuries. Morgan Stanley was lead manager.
Abbey Healthcare Group issued $200 million of 9.50% senior subordinated notes due 2002 at par. Noncallable for five years, the notes were rated B1 by Moody's and B-minus by Standard & Poor's. Donaldson Lufkin managed the offering, which was increased from $150 million.
National Bank of Hungary issued $200 million of 8.875% bonds due 2013 at par. The noncallable bonds were priced to yield 255 basis points more than comparable Treasuries. Moody's rates the offering Ba1, while Standard & Poor's rates it BB-plus. Morgan Stanley managed the offering.
Southern California Gas Co. sold $175 million of 6.875% first mortgage bonds due 2025. Noncallable for 10 years, the bonds were priced at 97.045 to yield 7.11% or 78 basis points more than comparable Treasuries. Moody's rates the offering A2, while Standard & Poor's rates it A-plus. CS First Boston won competitive bidding to be lead manager of the offering.
Alcan Aluminum issued $150 million of 5.875% notes due 2000. The noncallable notes were priced at 99.385 to yield 5.991% or 78 basis points more than comparable Treasuries. Morgan Stanley managed the offering.