Morgan Stanley, Dean Witter & Co. and Loan Pricing Corp. are offering the largest-ever leveraged loan syndication through the Internet, a $1.35 billion credit facility for Ziff-Davis Inc.
The syndication, expected to close Thursday, combines electronic solicitation with a standard bank meeting-a strategy expected to give the credit the widest possible audience, according to Loan Pricing president Jim Davis.
Ziff-Davis is undergoing a financial reorganization, and its debt carries ratings below investment grade, making it harder for a lead bank to sell parts of the loan. Combining a bank meeting with the Internet solicitation should attract a wider range of customers, Mr. Davis said.
The deal's lead arranger and administrative agent is Bank of New York Co. Morgan Stanley Senior Funding is co-lead arranger and syndications agent. Chase Manhattan Bank and DLJ Capital Funding Inc. are co- documentation agents.
In the handful of previous Internet syndications, borrowers and agents say electronic syndication has provided an alternative to the cumbersome paper-intensive process. As a result, banks and borrowers can cut printing and distribution costs.
Loan Pricing has offered $5 billion through Internet syndications.
The largest offering to date was $2.25 billion for Loan Pricing's parent, Reuters Group PLC.