Petrolane Gas Service Limited Partnership's junk bonds climbed about four points Wednesday evening, the night before AmeriGas announced it would invest $122.5 million as part of a plan to restructure Petolane yesterday.
On Wednesday, Petrolane's 13 1/4 due 2001 rose from about 39 to 43, one trader said. Following yesterday's announcement they jumped up to 47, he said. Others reported similar, though slightly different moves.
Off the record, traders attributed the bonds' sharp preannouncement rise to yet another case of insider trading in the high-yield market.
A certain "money manager arbitrage type" seemed to be buying quite a few bons Wednesday evening, one trader said.
"The only situational move [Wednesday] was Petrolane. The price moved 4 3/4 points," another high-yield source who requested anonymity said. "It moved 13% in one day. That's a great big move one day before an announcement was made."
Under the restructuring plan, AmeriGas, a subsidiary of UGI Corp., would eventually acquire Petrolane. AmeriGas has offered holders of Petrolane's $375 million of 13 1/4% debentures a "package" made up of $112.5 million in cash plus new subordinated debentures with an aggregate fair market value of $56.25 million, according to a USG Corp. release.
Cash and new debentures combined represent an offer of 45 cents for each dollar principal amount of the 13 1/4% debentures. AmeriGas will also seek amortization changes and covenant relief from banks and other Petrolane senior lenders, the release said.
In addition, AmeriGas has offered Petrolane's joint owners, affiliates of First Boston Corp. and Quantum Chemical Corp., a total of $10 million for their interest in the company.
Vince Testa, a UGI spokesman, said his company submitted the restructuring plan to First Boston late Wednesday and announced it publicly yesterday morning.
The high-yield market was firm in secondary trading with much of the focus on the large number of new issues expected before Thanksgiving. The high-grade market moved with Treasuries and lost 3/4 point in the long end.
New high-grade corporate and agency issues totaled close to $2.5 billion yesterday, excluding Schering-Plough's $828.556 144A eligible private placement.
"You can split all the hairs you want to. It's still a really good day," one analyst said.
Schering-Plough sold $828.556 million face value of zero coupon notes due 1996. The noncallable notes were priced at 69.839 to yield 7.31% or 78 basis points over comparable Treasuries. Moody's Investors Service rates the deal Aa2, while Standard & Poor's Corp. rates it AA. Merrill acted as placement agent.
Student Loan Marketing Association sold $500 million of floating rate notes at par. The notes due 1995 were priced to yield 30 basis points over three-month Treasury bills. Merrill Lynch managed the transaction.
ITT Hartford offered a two-part deal totalling $300 million yesterday. Moody's rates it A1, while Standard & Poor's rates it AA-minus. The company offered $100 million of 7.25% notes due 1996. The noncallable notes were priced at 99.813 to yield 7.295% or 78 basis points over comparable Treasuries. ITT Hartford also offered $200 million of 8.30% notes due 2001. The notes were priced at 99.865 to yield 8.32% or 95 basis points over comparable Treasuries.
Federal National Mortgage Association offered two deals yesterday totaling $400 million.
The agency offered $200 million of 6% medium term notes at par. Noncallable until March 10, 1993, the notes mature in 1995. They were priced to yield 20 basis points over three-year Treasuries. Merrill Lynch managed the offering.
Fannie Mae also offered $200 million of 7.3% medium-term notes priced initially at 99.30/32s and due in 1988. Noncallable for two years, the notes were priced to yield 35 basis point over comparable Treasuries. Goldman, Sachs & Co. managed the offering.
The Republic of Ireland issued $200 million of 7.875% bonds due 2001. The noncallable bonds were priced at 99.15 to yield 8% or 61 basis points over comparable Treasuries. Moody's rates the offering Aa3, while Standard & Poor's rates it AA-minus. Merrill managed the transaction.
Federal Home Loan Banks has issued $178 million of 5.88% notes at par due 1996. The notes were priced to yield 8 basis points over comparable Treasuries. Lehman Brothers managed the offering.
Federal Home Loan Banks issued $175.2 million of 6.63% notes due 1996. Noncallable for a year, the notes were priced at par to yield 14 basis points over comparable Treasuries. Merrill managed the transaction.
Northeast Utilities issued $175 million of 8.58% amortizing notes at par. The noncallable notes due 2006 were priced to yield 125 basis points over 10-year Treasuries. Moody's rates the notes Baa3, while Standard & Poor's rates them BBB-minus. Morgan Stanley & Co. Inc. lead managed the offering.
Household Finance Corp. issued $150 million of 7.625% senior notes due 1996. The noncallable notes were priced at 99.94 to yield 7.638% or 113 basis points over comparable Treasuries. Moody's rates the notes A3, while Standard & Poor's rates them A-plus. Merrill Lynch sole managed the offering.
First Interstate Bancorp issued $100 million of 9.375% senior notes due 1998. The noncallable notes were priced at 99.867 to yield 9.40% or 248 basis points over seven-year Treasuries. Moody's rates the notes Baa2, while Standard & Poor's rates them BBB. Kidder Peabody & Co. sole managed the offering.
Iowa Public Service issued $75 million of 8.15% first mortgage bonds due 2003. The bonds were priced at 99.742 to yield 8.184% or 85 basis points over comparable Treasuries. Moody's rates the offering A1, while Standard & Poor's rates it AA-minus. Lehman sole managed the offering.
Iowa Power Inc. issued $50 million of 8.20% first mortgage bonds due 2003. Nonrefundable for five years, the bonds were priced at 99.743 to yield 8.234% or 90 basis points over comparable Treasuries. Moody's rates the deal A2, while Standard & Poor's rates it A. Lehman sole managed the offering.
Complete information on a Duke Power deal, thought to be in the $150 million range, could not be immediately obtained.