When the investment firm Joseph Littlejohn & Levy sought a bank loan for its latest and largest buyout - Hayes Wheels International Inc.'s $1.1 billion acquisition of Motor Wheel Corp. - it seemed everyone wanted a piece of the action.

Institutions made commitments for more than double the $900 million Joseph Littlejohn sought when it tapped Merrill Lynch & Co. and CIBC Wood Gundy - investment arm of the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce - to lead the deal.

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