NationsBank Corp. may issue $800 million in debt securities as soon as today, in the largest long-term bond offering by a bank this year.
Proceeds are expected to go toward two major pending deals: the takeover of MNC Financial Inc.. a Baltimore bank holding company: and the purchase of $2.3 billion in receivables from U S West Financial Services.
Banks rarely make public offerings of this size. Sales of asset-backed and short-term debt are exceptions.
Market sources said NationsBank's offering will comprise 350 million of three-year senior debt and $450 million of 10-year subordinated debt.
The issue may be increased to as much as $1 billion, they said. Merrill Lynch & Co. will be lead manager for both issues.
NationsBank has become an active issuer in the capital markets this year after announcing a string of cash acquisitions, including the recent U S West deal.
It has completed the purchase of about $2.2 billion of assets from Chrysler First Inc., a finance company, and Chicago Research and Trading, an options firm.
Just under half of the pending $1.4 billion MNC purchase will be made with cash.
At Least $1.5 Billion Needed
Market sources estimated that the bank needs to raise at least $1.5 billion and possibly more than $2.5 billion through debt offerings this year to complete pending acquisitions.
NationsBank has borrowed $1.84 billion in the capital markets so far this year, about equal to its total borrowings in the six previous years, according to Securities Data Co. Its total capital ratio was 11.75% at the end of June.
The superregional held a conference call with bond investors Monday afternoon to discuss its prospects, but did not talk specifically about any upcoming bond offering issue, said a source. A bank spokesman declined to comment.
The likely yields on the two issues could not be determined.
NationsBank's 8.25% nine-year subordinated debt was bid Monday afternoon at 77 basis points over the U.S. Treasuries, according to First Boston Corp.
Separately, MBNA America Bank issued $750 million of five-year credit-card-backed securities. The issue was priced to yield 5.43%, 40 basis points over the five-year U.S. Treasury note. J.P. Morgan Securities was lead manager.