A unit of Bankers Trust New York Corp. sole-managed $100 million in junk bonds for Specialty Paperboard late last week.
The 10-year bonds were priced to yield 9.375%, or 275 basis points over comparable Treasuries.
The Brattleboro, Vt.-based manufacturer will use the proceeds to pay for strategic acquisitions.
The BT Securities Corp. deal attracted notice from high grade and high yield investors because of its split rating: B1 from Moody's Investors Service and BB-minus from Standard & Poor's Ratings Group.
"You've got a situation where the company has a good credit, which puts a lot more potential buyers in the mix," said Jerry Paul, the high yield portfolio manager for Invesco PLC.
The broad-based investor interest underscores the continuing move by pension funds into junk bonds, an asset class that provides greater returns.
Mr. Paul said that commercial banks like Bankers Trust have added value to the market by bringing issues for their long-term clients.
"The bank-related investment banks are bringing into this marketplace some of their old historic clients who had previously depended on their banking relationships for capital," Mr. Paul said. "This effort gives the bank's customers access to the capital markets."
Mr. Paul said that part of the reason for the higher credit rating of Specialty Paperboard is that it produces an array of products that aren't as subject to cyclical changes in the economy. 'We see a lot of these niche kind of companies coming to the market," he said.
Market sources said the Specialty Paperboard issue was oversubscribed and was free to trade Friday.