Yield-hungry commercial banks were among the buyers in last week's auction of USL Capital's $450 million portfolio of below-investment-grade loans.

More than 50 investors, including banks, prime rate funds and insurance companies made bids for the portfolio of 23 B-rated bank loans, according to executives at J.P. Morgan & Co. which led the auction. The portfolio included debt from such companies as Bruno's Inc., Pathmark Stores Inc., and Riverwood International.

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