Talk of a Prime Computer Inc. initial public offering drove its parent company's bonds up at least 14 points yesterday, high-yield sources said.
DR Holdings Inc.'s senior subordinated 15 1/2% debentures due 2002 jumped from 44 1/4 bid yesterday to trade in the 58 to 63 range by mid-afternoon. Near the end of the day, they were trading in the 59 to 61 range, traders said.
According to various sources, the company allegedly plans to use proceeds from the equity offering to take out part of the $570 million of debt Prime owes to Shearson Lehman Brothers.
A $500 million bridge loan from Shearson helped finance Prime's 1989 leveraged buyout. J.H. Whitney & Co. was the buyout firm for that deal.
Shearson would be given stock for the rest of the bridge debt, one source said.
Spokesmen for both Shearson Lehman Brothers and Prime declined comment.
"Prime has a long-standing policy of not commenting on rumors or market speculation," a spokesman for that company said yesterday.
No one at J.H. Whitney could be reached for comment.
In other news, North Atlantic Energy Corp. Wednesday priced $355 million of 10-year first mortgage bonds, market sources said.
The bonds, rated Ba1 by Moody's Investors Service and BB-plus by Standard & Poor's Corp., were priced at 9.05%. Morgan Stanley & Co. sole managed the offering. The bonds, which have a mandatory pro-rated sinking fund and a 7.6-year average life, were priced to yield 200 basis points over seven-year Treasuries.
In secondary trading yesterday, high-yield bond prices finished 1/8 to 1/4 point better. High-grades ended unchanged.
Proctor & Gamble issued $200 million of 6.85% notes due 1997 at par. The noncallable notes were priced to yield 25 basis points over five-year Treasuries. Moody's rates the offering Aa2, while Standard & Poor's rates it AA. Goldman, Sachs & Co. lead managed the offering.
Swiss Bank Corp. issued $200 million of 4.35% medium-term depositary notes due 1993. The notes were priced initially at par. Moody's rates the offering Aa1, while Standard & Poor's rates it AAA. Morgan Stanley & Co. managed the offering.
Hook-SuperX Inc. has issued $145 million of 10.125% senior notes due 2002. The notes are callable after five years at 105 moving to par in 1999. Moody's rates the offering Ba3, while Standard & Poor's rates it BB-minus. Goldman Sachs sole managed the offering.
Federal Home Loan Banks issued $131 million of 6.770% notes due 1997 at par. Noncallable for a year, the notes were priced to yield 17 basis points over comparable Treasuries. First Tennessee N.A. Memphis managed the offering.
Philadelphia Electric issued $125 million of 8.625% first and refunding mortgage bonds due 2022. Noncallable for five years, the bonds were priced at 98.80 to yield 8.738% or 85 basis points over comparable Treasuries. Moody's rates the offering Baa1, while Standard & Poor's rates it BBB-plus. First Boston Corp. lead managed the offering.
Federal Home Loan Banks issued $51 million of 5.83% notes due 1995 at par. Noncallable for a year, the notes were priced to yield 10 basis points over comparable Treasuries. Dean Witter Reynolds managed the offering.
Moody's downgraded Travelers Corp.'s senior debt to Baa1 from A2. The agency also lowered the insurance financial strength and debt ratings of its principal subsidiaries.
"The rating changes primarily reflect Moody's concerns about the potential impact of [Travelers'] commercial real estate portfolio on the company's earnings and capital formation," the agency says in a release.
Standard & Poor's has given a rating of B to Fairchild Industries Inc.'s $125 million of senior subordinated notes due 1999, an agency release says.
In addition, the rating agency affirmed Fairchild's B-minus subordinated debt and preferred stock ratings. Standard & Poor's also affirmed Fairchild Corp.'s, the parent company's, B-minus subordinated debt, and Rexnord Holding Inc.'s B senior unsecured debt and B-minus subordinated debt ratings.
Rexnord is a Fairchild Corp. unit. About $580 million of total debts is outstanding.
The outlook for Fairchild Corp. and its related entities has been revised to stable from negative.
"Fairchild Corp.'s ratings reflect a high degree of financial risk," the release says. "The firm's outlook is revised, contingent upon completion of a recently proposed recapitalization, acknowledging greater financial flexibility."
Standard & Poor's has been assigned a BB rating to Pennsylvania Enterprises Inc.'s $30 million senior note issue due 1999. As of March 31, PEI outstanding debt totaled $239.2 million.
"PEI's rating reflects a weak financial profile compounded by a sizeable capital spending program, and near-term regulatory and financial pressures," a Standard & Poor's release says.
Standard & Poor's has given a preliminary BB-minus rating to Magma Copper Co.'s $150 million of subordinated debt filed under a Rule 415 shelf registration. Concurrently, the agency affirmed its BB-minus rating on the firm's outstanding subordinated debt. Magma Copper's total debt outstanding as of March 31 totaled $480.3 million. The implied senior rating is BB-plus.
"Magma Copper Co. has a fair business position in the volatile copper industry," Standard & Poor's release says. "Given the persistence of industry-wide supply disruptions, copper prices have held at high levels over the past few years -- despite a cyclical downturn in demand in the key construction sector -- and tight supply conditions are expected to persist."