More than $800 million of junk debt is expected to be priced this week, and more junk issues are on the way.
High-yield names expected this week include Royal Crown Corp., Big Flower Press Inc., Dal-Tile, F&M Distributors, Plaid Clothing Group, and Triangle Pacific.
"There are just too many issues," one high-yield buyer who requested anonymity said. Asked about the reception those deals should get from buyers, he said, "I think [there is] not enough demand at these levels."
The buyer said the junk deals will have to come "a little cheaper" if companies want to get them done.
"The market is just incredibly busy from the new-issue side," Kevin Mathews, a portfolio manager at Van Kampen Merritt Inc. in Chicago, said. "The secondary business is really slow because people are focused on the new issues."
About eight road shows for new junk issues came through Chicago last week, and another 14 are expected this week, he said. Mathews said that with all the new deals, buyers have to select certain ones to concentrate on.
"You can't look at every single one of these." he said.
Despite the large number of new junk deals, Ed Mally, director of high-yield research at Salomon Brothers Inc., said demand continues.
"Mutual funds continue to drive the market," he said.
Royal Crown Corp. is expected to offer $275 million of senior secured notes due 2000 through Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette Securities Corp. today or tomorrow. Price talk on the offering is for a yield to range from 9 1/2% to 9 1/2%.
Big Flower Press Inc. is expected to offer $150 million of senior subordinated notes due 2003. BT Securities Corp. is sole manager on the deal. A market player suggested that the offering is expected to see a yield of 9 3/4% to 10%.
Dal-Tile is expected to offer $75 million of senior secured zero coupon notes due 1998 through Goldman, Sachs & Co. The yield could be in the 11 1/2% area, according to a market source. The offering is expected today or tomorrow.
F&M Distributors Inc. is expected to offer $75 million of senior subordinated notes due 2003 through Merrill Lynch & Co. by tomorrow or Thursday.
Plaid Clothing Group is expected to offer $75 million of senior subordinated notes due 2003 through Goldman Sachs. Price talk in the market on the offering is for a yield of around 10 3/4%.
Triangle Pacific Corp. is expected to offer $160 million of senior notes due 2003 through DLJ tomorrow or Thursday. The offering could be priced with a yield ranging from 9 7/8% to 10 1/8%.
Early next week, Leucadia National Corp. is expected to price a debt offering through Jefferies & Co.
In other news yesterday, Illinois Power Co. said it plans to redeem two bond issues totaling $95 million on Sept. 1.
In a related matter, the utility last week issued $100 million of 6.5% general mortgage bonds due 2003.
The company is redeeming the bonds to take advantage of lower interest rates, it said in a release. Illinois Power will use part of the proceeds from last week's issue to redeem the two first mortgage bond issues. The remainder will be used to refund short-term debt.
Illinois said it plans to redeem all its 8 5/8% series first mortgage bonds due 2006 at 103.37% and all outstanding 7 5/8% first mortgage bonds due 2003 at 102.29%.
The agent for the bond redemptions is Harris Trust and Savings Bank in Chicago.
"This is the sixth time this year Illinios Power has taken steps to refinance its debt or preferred stock," the company's release says. "Since 1989, Illinois Power's refinancing activities have reduced annual interest expense and preferred stock dividends by more than $67 million."
In secondary trading yesterday. the high-grade market was "deader than a doornail." an analyst said. Spreads ended unchanged.
High-yield issues ended about 1/8 point higher in a "relatively active" session considering it is August, one high-yield source said.
U.S. Leather Inc. issued $135 million of senior 10.250% notes due 2003 late Friday. The offering was priced at 99.229 to yield 10.375%. The notes are noncallable for five years. Moody's Investors Service rates the offering B2, while Standard & Poor's Corp. rates it B-plus. Bear Stearns managed the offering.
Union Electric Co. yesterday issued $75 million of 7.15% first mortgage bonds due 2023. Noncallable for 10 years, the bonds were priced at 98.878 to yield 7.242% or 68 basis points over comparable Treasuries. Moody's rates the offering A1, while Standard & Poor's rates it AA-minus.