The $8.2 billion of junk debt being prepared for market may look like a feast, but it is barely an hors d'oeuvre for cash-waving investors.
"Even though this sounds like a lot of deb coming to market, the great majority of it is to refinance existing debt," Kingman Penniman, a senior vice president of Duff & Phelps/MCM Investment Research Co., said yesterday.
Instead of tapping the high-yield market to finance acquisitions or other ventures, companies are simply exchanging their high-priced debt for lower-cost paper.
"This market is a refunding, refinancing market," he said. "It's doing very little to alleviate the supply problem."
While about $3.2 billion of new issuance has been scheduled, about $5 billion of the potential new junk sits "in the wings" through shelf registrations, Mr. Penniman said.
Owens-Illinois Inc.'s $1 billion issuance leads a charge of issuers that include MGM Grand Inc., for $370 million; Grand Union Co. affiliates GND Holdings, for $427 million, and GU Acquisitions, for $200 million; Ferrell Gas Inc., at $250 million; Clark Oil & Refining Corp., at $200 million; Rowan Companies, at $200 million; Playtex Family Products, at $150 million; Texas-New Mexico Power Co., at $120 million; Inland Steel Co., at $100 million; and Wheeling-Pittsburgh Corp., at $150 million. Shelf registrations include Tele-Communications Inc.'s, at $1.750 billion; Safeway Inc.'s at $750 million; Stone Container Corp.'s, at $600 million; Viacom Inc.'s, at $550 million; Century Communications Corp.'s, recently increased by $500 million to total $546 million; Mitchell Energy & Development Corp.'s, at $400 million; and Oryx Energy Co.'s, at $150 million, Mr. Penniman said.
"All of these are likely to be increased," Mr. Penniman said, adding that the size of two deals sold earlier this week was increased in response to sharp demand.
Rogers Cantel Mobil Inc. increased its offering to $400 million, from $250 million, and may increase it again, to $460 million, if underwriter Merrill Lynch & Co. exercises a green shoe. A green shoe is a provision allowing an underwriter to increase an offering if excessive demand exists.
Maxxam Inc.'s offering was increased to $150 million, from $100 million originally.
Though demand continues to outpace supply, insurance companies and others seeking to reduce their junk bond exposure have helped ease the shortage somewhat, Mr. Penniman said.
Yesterday's high-yield market was up 1/2 point to 3/4 point, while the high-grade market was up 1/2 point in response to the 30-year Treasury auction.
As for yesterday's new issues, Federal National Mortgage Association issued $200 million of 6.090% medium-term notes at par to yield 13 basis points over comparable Treasuries. The notes mature in 1994. Lehman Brothers sole managed the offering.
Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation issued $150 million of 6.850% notes at par due 1996. Noncallable for a year, the notes were priced to yield 16 basis points over comparable Treasuries. Bear, Stearns & Co. sole managed the offering.
In yesterday's rating actions, Standard & Poor's Corp. placed Greyhound Financial Corp.'s BBB-plus senior and BB subordinated debt ratings on CreditWatch for a possible downgrade. The agency affirmed Greyhound's A-2 commercial paper rating, which was not placed on CreditWatch, according to Standard & Poor's release.
The agency's action follows Dial Corp.'s announcement that it plans to spin off Greyhound Financial, Greyhound European Financial Group, and Verex Corp. under a newly formed holding company called GFC Financial Corp. Final approval by the board of directors is scheduled for Nov. 21. If approved, the tax-free spinoff will be finished by early 1992.
"S&P will evaluate the risk profile and capital adequacy of the company, given the addition of the relatively weaker European operations and the ongoing credit impact of a difficult European economy on these operations," the release said.