Conrail chugged in with a $250 million rarity yesterday -- a 50-year issue.

"In my time tracking corporates, the past 10 years, there's only been one other 50-year bullet, and that was a Boeing [Co.issue]," Mike Bassett, a vice president at Stone & McCarthy Research Associates, said.

Bassett also cited two other 50-year deals, one by Texaco Capital Inc. and the other by the Tennessee Valley Authority, but both of those were callable after 20 years.

Mark Seigel, a managing director at Morgan Stanley & Co., lead manager on the the offering, said issue is "the largest corporate 50-year deal in recent history."

Seigel said there had been no bigger such non-agency deal at least since the 1960s. Texaco's offering totaled $200 million, while Boeing's totaled $175 million, he said.

Conrail is also the lowest rated company ever to complete such a 50-year offering, Seigel said.

"It went exceedingly well," he said. The deal was marketed to a broad array of institutional accounts and, based on their interest, was increased to $250 million from $200 million, Seigel said. The offering was capped at $250 million because that was all Conrail had in its shelf registration, he said.

Conrail issued $250 million of 7.875% debentures due 2043. The noncallable debentures were priced at 99.80, to yield 7.891%, or 87 basis points above yields for comparable Treasuries. Moody's rates the offering A2, while Standard & Poor's rates in A.

Compared with the two other non-agency issuers, Boeing and Texaco Capital, Conrail's deal is richer, Bassett said.

Texaco Capital's offering, rated A1 by Moody's Investors Service and A-plus by Standard & Poor's Corp., came at 89 basis points over comparable Treasuries. Boeing's offering rated A1 by Moody's and AA by Standard & Poor's, came at 100 basis point over, he said.

Conrail's deal also comes at a time when long-term paper is in short supply. From the day the Treasury Department announced the change in its borrowing mix on May 7 through Tuesday, approximately one-third of all new issuance has come in the one-to-three-year range, Bassett said.

Also during that period, just 4.6% of issuance has carried maturities of 30 years or longer, he said.

"So there hasn't been much long paper around," Bassett said.

"I think the basic pitch on a 50-year is that it's a duration lengthening tool," Bassett said, adding that investors can use it to balance the short paper they've been buying.

"I think people are looking for a way to hedge their bets because of the way we stand in terms of rates, " Bassett said.

In other news, The Marcade Group Inc. yesterday said all of its constituent classes entitled to vote have approved its chapter 11 reorganization plan.

A confirmation hearing before a U.S. bankruptcy court has been scheduled for June 17, the company said in a release. If the court confirms the plan, Marcade expects to emerge from bankruptcy by late June or early July, the release says.

Elsewhere, Musicland Stores Corp. and its wholly owned subsidiary, The Musicland Group Inc., yesterday said they have filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission to offer $110 million of senior subordinated notes due 2003.

"The funds raised from the sale of these notes will be used to redeem $53.5 million in junior subordinated debentures and for general corporate purposes, including capital expenditures," Keith Benson, Musicland's vice chairman and chief financial officer, said in a release.

The Minneapolis-based retailer's junior subordinated debentures have a 14 3/4% interest rate and can be redeemed beginning on Sept. 30, 1993, at a price of $108.05. Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette Securities Corp. and J.P. Morgan Securities Inc. will manage the offering.

In secondary trading, high-yield bonds firmed up following a morning dip to end the day mostly unchanged. Spreads on high-grade bonds to Treasury securities also finished unchanged.

New Issues

Consolidated Edison issued a two-part offering totaling $200 million. The first tranche consisted of $100 million of 5.30% debentures due 1997. The noncallable debentures were priced at 99.914, to yield 5.325%, or 33 basis points over the 5.50% Treasury notes of July 31, 1997. The second tranche consisted of $100 million of 5.70% debentures due 1998. The noncallable debentures were priced at 99.923 to yield or 33 basis points over the 7.125% Treasury notes of Oct. 1, 1998. Moody's rates the offering Aa2, whiles Standard & Poor's rates it AA-minus. Duff & Phelps Credit Rating Co. rates it A-Plus. Goldman, Sachs & Co. sole-managed the offering.

Placer Dome issued $200 million of 7.125% notes due 2003. The noncallable notes were priced at 99.813 to yield 7.152% or 105 basis points over comparable Treasuries. Moody's rates the offering Baa2, while Standard & Poor's rates it BBB. J.P. Morgan Securities Inc. lead-managed the offering.

CIT Group Holdings issued $150 million of floating-rate medium-term notes due 1994. The noncallable notes were priced initially at par. They float daily at 280 basis points under the prime rate and pay quarterly. Moody's rates the offering A1, while Standard & Poor's rates it A-plus. Lehman Brothers sole-managed the offering.

Mellon Bank N.A. issued $150 million of 6.750% subordinated notes due 2003. The noncallable notes were reoffered at 99.133 to yield 6.871% or 75 basis points over comparable Treasuries. Moody's rates the offering A3, while Standard & Poor's rates it A-minus. Bear, Stearns & Co. won competitive bidding to underwrite the offering.

Finally Fine Jewelry issued $135 million of 10.625% senior notes due 2003 at par. Callable after five years at 103.984, the notes were priced at par. Moody's rates the offering B1, while Standard & Poor's rates it B. Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette Securities Corp. lead-managed the offering.

Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. issued $100 million of 4.560% notes due 1996. Noncallable for a year, the notes were priced initially at par to yield a spread of 10 basis points over comparable Treasuries. Goldman Sachs was sole manager on the offering.

Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. issued $100 million of 5.470% debentures due 1998. Noncallable for a year, the debentures were priced to yield 20 basis points over comparable Treasuries. Lehman Brothers sole-managed the offering.

Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. issued $100 million of 6.570% debentures due 2003 at par. Noncallable for three years, the bonds were priced to yield 45 basis points over comparable Treasuries. Merrill Lynch & Co. managed the offering.

SouthTrust issued $100 million of 7% subordinated notes due 2003. The noncallable notes were priced at 99.741, to yield 7.036%, or 93 basis points over comparable Treasuries. Moody's rates the offering Baal, while Standard & Poor's rates it BBB-plus. First Boston Corp. lead managed the offering.

Mattell Inc. issued $100 million of 6.75% notes due 2000 at par. The noncallable notes were priced to yield 98 basis points over comparable Treasuries. Moody's rates the offering Ba3, while Standard & Poor's rates it BBB-minus. Morgan Stanley lead-managed the offering.

Ratings News

Standard & Poor's assigned a B rating to Station Casino Inc.'s $100 million of senior subordinated notes due 2003. The implied senior rating is BB-minus.

"The rating reflects the company's good operating performance at its existing hotel/casino, offset by construction risk associated with the company's two new projects," Standard & Poor's said in its release, "Issue proceeds, along with proceeds from a concurrent common stock offering, will be used to refinance existing debt and to fund new projects."

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