Christmas Eve found high-yield participants mulling defections by traders Alan Schlesinger of Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette Securities Corp. and David Tepper of Goldman, Sachs & Co.

Schlesinger, manager of high-yield trading at Donaldson, apparently left last Monday, and fellow traders were advised of his departure on Tuesday, sources outside the firm said. He was said to be vacationing and could not be reached for comment.

An operator said no one in Donaldson's public relations department would be available for comment until today.

Tepper's departure last week may have been linked to Goldman Sachs' failure to make him a partner, one high-yield source said.

"Someone told me he would be made a partner," the source said. "He was not."

The source added that while Tepper was not a "shoo-in," the promotion was thought likely.

A Goldman Sachs spokesman said officials authorized to comment were on vacation.

Kidder, Peabody & Co.'s high-yield group may also have a departure, a high-yield trader added. Helen Platt, a Kidder spokeswoman, said she "had no knowledge of anyone leaving," but could not say for sure. She added that Kidder has been building its high-yield department.

"We've been hiring people," Platt said.

Overall in the high-yield market, nothing happened, traders said. In the high-grade corporate bond market, activity was also quiet except for the noise of traders' children.

"You can characterize it by [saying] nothing at all happened," one trader said.

"We just have kids brought in by their parents," he said. "That's about the extent of the excitement."

Asked to describe activity shortly before 11 a.m., another trader said: "People are going out the door, including myself, in four minutes."

In other news Thursday, Dr. Pepper Bottling Co. of Texas and Dr. Pepper Bottling Holdings Inc. said they had registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission for two offerings with proceeds totaling $193 million.

Dr. Pepper Bottling Co. plans to offer senior notes due 2000, and Dr. Pepper Bottling Holdings Inc. plans to offer senior discount notes due 2003, according to a company release.

Proceeds from the offering, along with about $98 million in borrowings under a new bank facility and about $30 million of proceeds from a proposed private placement of preferred stock and a warrant to purchase common stock of Holdings, will go toward a recapitalization plan, the release says.

Under the plan, Dr. Pepper Bottling Co. plans to retire virtually all its outstanding debt and preferred stock and pay the related fees and costs of the transaction. Donaldson will underwrite the offering.

As part of the recapitalization, Dr. Pepper Bottling Co. plans a tender offer of its 15 1/2% senior subordinated discount notes due 1998 and is soliciting consents for a change in the indenture governing those notes.

Total payment for the tender offer and the consent solicitation would be $1,115 per $1,000 principal amount of the notes, plus accrued interest to the purchase date. The company plans to begin the offer and the consent solicitation as soon as "practicable," the release says. Donaldson will serve as dealer manager for the offer and solicitation.

The recapitalization plan hinges on several factors, including completion of the planned public offerings and the new bank financing, the release says.

Rating News

Standard & Poor's Corp. has given its A-1-plus rating to BOT Financial Corp.'s $200 million commercial paper program, which the Bank of Tokyo Ltd. guarantees.

According to a rating agency release, the issuer is a 75%-owned subsidiary of the Bank of Tokyo Ltd.

"BOT is Japan's leading foreign exchange bank with a high degree of expertise in international finance. Its profitability ratios have improved over the last year, resulting largely from lower interest rates both in Japan and the U.S.," the Standard & Poor's release says.

The release adds, however, that "BOT's domestic asset quality indicators have been under stress over the last year, due to the collapse of real estate and stock markets, and in conjunction with the widespread slowdown of the Japanese economy."

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