NEW YORK - BankAmerica Corp. has completed syndication for a $1.65 billion loan to U.S. Industries, the Hanson PLC spin-off.

The deal was well received by the bank community, which came forward with a total of $3.85 billion, more than twice the amount sought.

More than 40 domestic and international banks committed $2.2 billion, joining BankAmerica's $1.65 billion underwriting commitment.

Final allocations will be made soon.

BankAmerica's lead role came as somewhat of a surprise to market observers, considering Chemical Banking Corp.'s position as lead underwriter for several multibillion-dollar facilities for both Hanson PLC and its U.S. affiliate, Hanson Industries.

BankAmerica reportedly won the deal after a heated bidding contest with Chemical.

Although U.S. Industries will function independently of either Hanson office, it has hired some highly placed Hanson executives.

U.S. Industries has total revenues of about $3 billion and comprises 34 businesses - including Jacuzzi Whirlpool Baths, Faberware Cookware, Tommy Armour Golf, Rexair Vacuum Cleaners - that were formerly a part of Hanson Industries.

The loan is priced at the London interbank offered rate plus 162.5 basis points, with a 37.5-basis-point fee for the unused portion, plus up-front fees. It is divided into a $900 million, five-year term loan and a $750 million revolving credit.

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