Time Warner Entertainment issued $1 billion of 40-year senior notes through Rule 144A, market sources said yesterday.
"Since it was a private placement, we can't really comment," said Edward Adler, a Time Warner spokesman.
The noncallable 8 3/8% notes were priced at 99.392 to yield 8.428%, or 180 basis points over 30-year Treasuries, market sources said. Lehman Brothers served as lead manager.
Rule 144A, approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission in 1990, was designed to enhance secondary trading of private placements.
Time Warner Entertainment is a limited partnership in which Time Warner Inc. owns 87.5%. Toshiba and ITOCHU own the remaining 12.5%. In May, U S West announced a proposal to invest in the company.
Time Warner Inc., the New York-based media and entertainment company, was busy in the public new-issue market earlier this year, with four offerings in January.
The company sold $1 billion of 20-year debt early in the month, one analyst said.
Later that month, Time Warner offered two deals on the same day, a $500 million five-year issue and a $500 million seven-year offering. Also in January, the company offered $1 billion of a 30-year bullet maturity.
Standard & Poor's Corp. rates the senior debt of Time Warner and Time Warner Entertainment BBB-minus, according to Heather Goodchild, a director at the rating agency.
Because of the diversity of their business and the strength of their franchises, "they have a very strong business position," Goodchild said.
In other news yesterday, First Chicago Corp. filed a shelf registration with the SEC to offer up to $1.5 billion of debt securities, preferred stock, debt warrants, preferred stock warrants, common stock warrants, and other warrants.
In a release, First Chicago said it plans to use the proceeds for general corporate purposes, including the funding of investments in or extensions of credit to the corporation's subsidiaries. Underwriters will be named when the securities are issued, the release says.
In secondary trading, high-yield bonds ended unchanged to mixed. Spreads on high-grade bonds kept pace with Treasuries.
Paramount Communications issued a two-part offering yesterday totaling $300 million.
The first part consisted of $150 million of 5.875% notes due 2000. The noncallable notes were priced at 99.543 to yield 5.956%, or 60 basis points over comparable Treasuries. The second part consisted of $150 million of 7.5% notes due 2023. Noncallable for 10 years, the notes were priced at 99.628 to yield 7.531%, or 90 basis points over comparable Treasuries.
Moody's Investors Service rates the offering A2, while Standard & Poor's Corp. rates it A. Salomon Brothers was the lead manager.
Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. issued $100 million of 4.37% notes due 1996. Noncallable for a year, the notes were priced at par to yield 1 0 basis points over comparable Treasuries. Prudential Securities managed the offering.
Gulf Power issued $30 million of 5% first mortgage bonds due 1998. The noncallable bonds were priced at 98.752 to yield 5.289%, or 31 basis points over the five-year Treasury note. Moody's rates the offering A2, while Standard & Poor's and Duff & Phelps Credit Rating Co. rate it A. Citicorp Securities Markets Inc. won a competitive bidding to underwrite the offering.
Gulf Power issued $30 million of 6.125% first mortgage bonds due 2003. Noncallable for five years, the bonds were priced at 98.44 to yield 6.338%, or 60 basis points over comparable Treasuries. Moody's rates the offering A2, while Standard & Poor's and Duff & Phelps rate it A. Merrill Lynch & Co. won competitive bidding to underwrite the offering.
Duff & Phelps upgraded Unisys Corp.'s outstanding senior notes and debentures to BB from B-plus. The rating agency also raised Unisys' convertible subordinated notes to BB-minus from B, and its preferred stock to B-plus from B-minus.
The action affects about $2.3 billion of debt and $1.6 billion of preferred stock outstanding at the end of the company's first quarter, which ended March 31.
"The credit rating upgrades reflect the substantial progress Unisys has made toward bolstering its market positions while at the same time strengthening its balance sheet and improving profitability," according to a Duff & Phelps release. "A successful turnaround to date has helped Unisys to solidify a customer base which had been concerned over the company's long-term viability."
Standard & Poor's placed the ratings of Transco Energy Co. and its units on CreditWatch for a possible upgrade.
The rating agency is reviewing Transco Energy's B senior unsecured debt and B-minus preferred stock ratings. Also placed on CreditWatch positive are the ratings of Transco's major gas pipeline subsidiaries. They are: Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Corp.'s BB-minus senior unsecured debt and B-plus preferred stock, and Texas Gas Transmission Corp.'s BB-minus senior unsecured debt.
Transco, a Houston-based interstate gas pipeline company, has about $2 billion of consolidated debt outstanding.