Long Island Lighting Co. priced $820 million of debentures last night as part of a planned new-for-old-debt switch, sources said.
Asked about the offering, Lilco spokeswoman Suzanne Halpin replied, "I am not able to confirm your information for you this evening."
The two-part offering's first tranche consisted of $400 million of 7.30% debentures due 1999. The debentures were priced at 99.943 to yield 7.31%, or 85 basis points over comparable Treasuries, a source who follows new issues said.
Part two consist of $420 million of 8.9% debentures due 2019. Noncallable for five years, the debentures were priced at 99.591 to yield 8.94%, or 125 basis points over comparable Treasuries. Moody's Investors Service rates the offering Baa3, while Standard & Poor's Corp. rates it BBB-minus. Lehman Brothers lead management the offering.
Most of the issue's proceeds will finance two highly successful tender offers for the Lilco debt that expired on Monday, a source familiar with the offering said.
A Lilco official told The Bond Buyer last week that the company planned to issue new debt to help pay for tender offers for $700 million of its outstanding debt.
On July 6, Lilco announced tender offers for its $350 million of 10.875% debentures due June 15, 1999, and $350 million of its 11.375% debentures due June 15, 2019. The company said it would require that debenture holders tender at least 60% of each issue.
When the offers expired Monday, 91% of the 10.875% holders and 98% of the 11.375% holders had tendered their securities, the source said.
In other news yesterday, Ralphs Supermarkets Inc. pulled its proposed $6.075 million of common stock, but said other elements of the company's recapitalization, including wholly owned subsidiary Ralphs Grocery's $300 million debt deal, will go as planned.
"The current equity market is a dramatically different market than when we began this process," Byron Allumbaugh, Ralphs's chairman and chief executive officer, was quoted as saying in a company release. "For this reason, we chose not to sell equity of Ralphs at prices that do not reflect the true value and high quality of the company."
In addition to selling $300 million of senior subordinated notes, Ralphs Grocery is conducting a tender offer for all of the company's outstanding 14% subordinated debt and will refinance bank debt. Ralphs has extended the tender offer for those bonds to July 27. Those transactions are expected to be completed shortly, Ralphs's release says.
"We're pleased about the pending completion of the other elements of our recapitalization plan," Mr. Allumbaugh said. "This plan will allow the needed capital flexibility for continued growth in coming years."
Elsewhere, Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. yesterday launched its $1 billion global bond offering due Aug. 1, 2002, at 41 to 43 basis points over comparable Treasuries. The offering is expected to be priced today.
"It's a smidgen expensive," one observer said yesterday, but added, "Forty-one to 43 doesn't sound outrageous for a key piece of Japan Inc. at 10 years."
One syndicate desk member not involved with the offering said it appeared to be attracting good interest.
Moody's rates the offering Aaa, while Standard & Poor's Corp. rates it AA-plus. Lehman Brothers International and Credit Suisse First Boston Ltd. are managing the offering.
In secondary trading yesterday, high-yield bond prices ended firm in quiet trading with some Safeway Inc. bonds gaining about 1/4 point. Grand Union Co. was expected to price its $800 million debt offering yesterday.
High-grades finished unchanged.
Merrill Lynch & Co. issued $300 million of 5.50% notes due 1995 at par. The noncallable notes were priced to yield 63 basis points over comparable Treasuries. Moody's rates the offering A1, while Standard & Poor's rates it A-plus. Merrill Lynch managed the offering.
American Brands issued $200 million of 5.25% notes due 1995 at par. The noncallable notes were priced to yield 45 basis points over comparable Treasuries. Moody's rates the offering A3, while Standard & Poor's rates it A. Morgan Stanley & Co. lead managed the offering.
Jones Intercable issued $160 million of 11.50% senior subordinated debentures due 2004 at par. Noncallable for five years, the bonds were rated B2 by Moody's and B by Standard & Poor's. Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette Securities Corp. lead managed the offering.
Florida Power & Light issued $150 million of 8.50% first mortgage bonds due 2022. Nonrefundable for five years, the bonds were priced at 99.55 to yield 8.541%, or 85 basis points over comparable Treasuries. Moody's rates the offering A2, while Standard & Poor's rates it A. Salomon Brothers lead managed the offering.
Moody's has given an Aaa rating to The Tokyo Electric Power Co. Inc.'s Yen 100 billion, 5.8% bond offering due 2004, a Moody's release says.
"The rating agency has assigned the rating based on TEPCO's importance to the national economy and the very favorable industry operating environment," the agency's release says.
Duff & Phelps Credit Rating Co. has given a preliminary BBB-minus rating to Arkla Inc.'s $401 million of shelf debt. Arkla will use proceeds to refinance existing short-and long-term debt, a Duff & Phelps press release says.
"Our rating assumes that Arkla's management will continue to take actions to relieve its strained financial condition, including the sale of nonstrategic assets, continued cost-cutting measures, and reduced capital spending," the release says.