Columbus Day was a real sleeper in corporate bonds.
"You woke us up, which wasn't very nice of you to do." said a high-grade trader who picked up the phone yesterday at one firm, adding that it was the first call he had received in an hour.
"It's just totally zero," he said. "It's probably slower than a Christmas [season] day," he said. The combination of a federal holiday with a Monday conspired to make yesterday doubly dull, he said.
A second trader seemed slightly busier, saying, "I'm doing a little reading and a lot of paperwork." But as far as trading went, he said, "absolutely nothing" was happening.
As for new issues, one syndicate official said he expects "moderate" volume this week but declined to name specific issues.
Things were no busier in the junk market.
"It's very dead," one trader said.
"Deadsville," echoed a second junk trader. "I would say it's about as unchanged as it gets."
Elsewhere yesterday, BellSouth Telecommunications Inc. announced plans to redeem two series of debentures totaling $700 million.
The Atlanta-based company is redeeming its $450 million of 8 1/4% debentures due April 15, 2016, issued by Southern Bell Telephone & Telegraph Co., at a price of 103.99% of the principal amount plus accrued interest to the redemption date.
BellSouth Telecom will also redeem $250 million of 8 1/4% debentures due Nov. 1, 2015, issued by South Central Bell Telephone Co.
The redemption price is 104.25% of the principal amount plus accrued interest to the redemption date. The redemption date for both issues is Nov. 15. The company will use proceeds from a $750 million offering priced Friday through a group led by Morgan Stanley & Co. to fund the redemptions, according to BellSouth spokesman Joe Chandler.
BellSouth Telecommunications is a BellSouth Corp. subsidiary.
In other news yesterday, JWP Inc., a Rye Brook, N.Y.-based mechanical and electrical contracting company, announced plans to file for prepackaged Chapter 11 bankruptcy at the holding company level.
JWP said in a release that holders of about 75% of the holding company's senior notes and bank debt support the basic business terms of its debt restructuring and recapitalization plan.
The company currently has some $484 million of senior debt outstanding, according to Joseph A. Gallo, senior vice president and treasurer at the company
The total breaks down to approximately $328 million of privately placed senior debt held by insurance companies and about $156 million of bank debt, Gallo said.
Under the plan, JWP's lenders would exchange that $484 million of debt for about $100 million of recourse debt, $80 million of non-recourse debt, and 100% of equity in the company, the release says.
All the new debt, except for $40 million of term recourse debt, is expected to be paid from asset sales proceeds.
Holders of the company's approximately $7 million of publicly traded 73/4% convertible subordinated debentures would not fare as well under the plan. The issue is now in default, and JWP said it would make no further principal or interest payments on that debt, including the interest payment that was due on Sept. 1.
The company also has about $9.6 million of privately placed subordinated debt, which will receive no consideration under the plan, Gallo said.
Holders of the company's common and preferred stock and warrants of participation would also get nothing. JWP'S operating subsidiaries would be unaffected, and all obligations of the operating subsidiaries will continue to be paid in the normal course of business, the release says.
The company hopes to consummate the plan by the first quarter of 1994. It hinges, however, on internal approvals by lenders and completion of documents satisfying both the lenders and JWP'S board of directors, the release says.
"While we are disappointed that holders of JWP subordinated debt and equity will not participate in the restructured company, we believe that the proposed debt restructuring and recapitalization will allow JWP to operate with a strong capital structure in the future," Edward F. Kosnik, JWP'S chairman and chief executive officer, said in the release.
"With the successful consummation of the plan, the company will be well positioned to continue to provide the quality construction services that JWP is known for."
Among other things, the plan calls for selling of JWP'S domestic mechanical/electrical subsidiaries, including its Dynalectric companies.
"The divestitures along with the previously announced sale of non-core businesses will permit JWP to focus its activities in geographic areas where it has strong market positions," release says. "The JWP worldwide mechanical and electrical subsidiaries that will be retained generated approximately $1.4 billion of revenues in 1992."