Some $1.6 billion of high-yield debt is expected to be priced this week, including a $1 billion split-rated offering and a $115 million Rule 144A deal.
"Mutual funds are getting tons of cash in, so that's the impetus. And, of course, rates are going down, so that always helps," one high-yield source said when asked the reason for the large number of new deals arriving.
Dorothy Held, a senior research officer at John Hancock Mutual Funds, agreed that while to some extent companies recognize that funds are heavy with cash, rates are so low that issuing debt "just makes sense from a corporate finance standpoint."
PDV America's $1 billign three-part offering received a Baa3 investment-grade rating from Moody's Investors Service and a BB junk rating from Standard & Poor's Corp.
Duff & Phelps Credit Rating Co. also assigned an investment-grade rating of BBB-minus. The deal is expected to consist of a $250 million five-year piece, a $250 million seven-year piece, and a $500 million 10-year piece.
Joining PDV America are deals by Pueblo Xtra International, Alco Health, American Healthcare Management, La Petite Holdings, and Savannah Electric & Power Co.
Pueblo Xtra is expected to offer $180 million of senior notes due 2003 through Morgan Stanley & Co. by the middle of the week.
Alco Health is expected to price $126.5 million of senior debt due 2005 through Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette Securities Corp., and BT Securities.
American Healthcare is expected to offer $100 million of senior subordinated notes due 2003 through Goldman, Sachs & Co. La Petite Holdings was expected late last week or this week to offer $85 million of senior secured notes due 2001 through BT Securities Inc.
Savannah Electric, is expected to offer $30 million of first mortgage bonds through competitive-bidding on July 22. In the Rule 144A market, Mosler Inc. is scheduled to offer $115 million of senior notes due 2003.
In secondary trading Friday, the high-yield market was quiet and 1/8 to 1/4 point weaker.
"They came, they saw, they feel asleep," one trader said. Spreads on high-grade bonds kept pace with Treasuries.
Jordan Industries issued a two-part offering totaling $350 million. The first tranche consisted of $275 million of 10.38% senior notes due 2003. Noncallable for five years, the notes are callable at par in 2001. Moody's rates the notes B3, while Standard & Poor's rates it B-plus.
The second piece consisted of $75 million of senior subordinated discount notes due 2005. The notes have a zero coupon for five years. After Aug. 1, 1998, the coupon becomes 11.75. The notes are noncallable for five years. Moody's rates the notes Caa, while Standard & Poor's rates them B-minus. Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette was lead manager of the offering.
Commonwealth Edison issued a two-part first mortgage bond offering totaling $250 million. The first tranche consisted of $100 million of 6.625% bonds due 2003. The noncallable bonds were priced at 99.87 to yield 6.643% or 95 basis points over comparable Treasuries.
The second consists of $150 million of 7.750% bonds due 2023. Noncallable for 10 years, the bonds were priced at 99.78 to yield 122 basis points over comparable Treasuries. Moody's rates the offering Baa2, while Standard & Poor's and Duff & Phelps rate it BBB. Merrill Lynch & Co. was lead manager.
Shearson Lehman Brothers Holdings issued $200 million of 5.75% notes due 1998. The noncallable notes were priced at 99.515 to yield 5.872% or 100 basis points over comparable Treasuries. Moody's rates the offering A3, while Standard & Poor's rates it A. Lehman Brothers was lead manager of the offering.
First Union Corp. issued $150 million of floating-rate subordinated notes due 2003. The noncallable notes were priced initially at par. They float quarterly at 12.5 basis points over the three-month London Interbank Offered Rate. They pay quarterly. Moody's rates the offering A3, while Standard & Poor's rates it BBB-plus. Duff & Phelps rates it A-minus. Goldman Sachs was sole manager of the offering.
Federal Home Loan Banks issued $150 million of incremental step-up notes due 1998 at par. The 3.750% notes were priced to yield 5.167% internal rate of return or 21 basis points over five-year Treasuries. The notes are noncallable for a year. The coupon steps up to 5% in years two to three and then to 6.20% in years four and five. Kidder, Peabody & Co. was sole manager of the offering.
Chesapeake & Potomac Telephone of Virginia issued $125 million of 7% debentures due 2025. Noncallable for 10 years, the debentures were priced at 98.852 to yield 7.091% or 55 basis points over comparable Treasuries. Moody's and Duff & Phelps rate the offering triple-A, while Standard & Poor's rates it AA-plus. Citicorp Securities Inc. won competitive bidding to underwrite the offering.
Federal Home Loan Banks issued $35 million of 4.390% medium-term notes due 1996 at par. Noncallable for a year, the bonds were priced to yield 15 basis points over comparable Treasuries. Lehman Brothers was sole manager of the offering.