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Loan Market Commentary 02/02/2010

The loan market decided to come back to life today and some of the flow names were out the door this morning up about half a point. The LCDX 13 was up a quarter in early morning trading to 101 3/8 – 101 5/8, by half-time it got as high as 101 1/2 – 101 ¾ and hovered around there for the remainder. Overall, the market didn’t have the means to keep the rally going and things tapered off in the afternoon. Many clients have had their attention on the primary market so off-the-run credits continue to be choppy. ITC/DeltaCom’s term loan was up a couple points on news that the company is issuing bonds to take up senior debt. Their term loan finished the day at 98/100. Moody’s upgraded Sirius XM’s bank debt to B1 from B3 causing their term loan to jump a quarter to 95 5/8 – 96 5/8. Avis also got a rating boost today from S&P citing improved operating performance which also moved their term loan up a quarter to 97 ½ -98 3/8. Both are good signs that the cost cutting measures taken by most companies in 2008/2009 are paying off. Cinram’s loans recovered a bit after getting beat up yesterday following the news that they lost an exclusive contract with Warner Home Video. After falling 15 points yesterday buyers were lined up to get involved and the term loan moved back up to 75 -77 after getting as low as the 67-72 context. The R.H. Donnelley/Dex Media deal was on everyone’s minds today as those loans broke out in the secondary for trading today. At the end of the day today the new R.H. Donnelley term loan (L+625) was straddling par, the Dex Media East term loan (L+250) was at 91 ¾ - 93 ¼ and the Dex Media West term loan (L+450) was at 98 3/8 – 99 1/8. Most of the new kids in town were firm as well today, most notably, Spansion Inc.’s term loan which was up a half to 100.5 – 101. In sum, today was a good day and a nice change; hopefully buyers remain hungry.
§         Bankrupt auto parts maker Cooper-Standard Holdings Inc said on Tuesday it had filed a reorganization plan that would transfer ownership of the company to its creditors and cut debt by more than 60 percent. The plan includes a rights offering in which some senior debtholders have agreed to buy 15 percent of the company's new common stock and have committed to buying as much as $245 million more if the shares are not purchased by others investors. The company will use the cash raised in the rights offering to pay holders of pre-petition credit facility claims.
§         Bids for Cinram International's term loan have emerged in the 74-75 range this morning after the loan plunged yesterday on news that Warner Home Video will no longer use the company as its exclusive provider, sources said. The loan fell to the 67-72 range yesterday morning, down from the high 80s.
§         ITC DeltaCom is selling $325 million in first-lien senior secured notes due 2016, according to IFR, a Thomson Reuters service. The company will use proceeds to repay its senior secured credit facilities.
§         Ineos Group's U.S. dollar B/C loans rose about 1.5 points to 93.25-94.25 after the company said it agreed to sell its fluorochemicals business to Mexichem Fluor, sources said.
§         Life Technologies Corp (fka Invitrogen Corp) is amending its $2.65 billion three-tranche financing from November 2008 to issue up to $1.7 billion of notes, sources said. The company did not mention specifics of the notes but indicates that it will issue the notes within six months. Proceeds from the notes will be used to pay down its credit facility. Lenders are asked to consent by tomorrow.
§         JP Morgan is proposing to refinance Skype Technologies' recently closed buyout financing with an $800 million five-year bank loan that will reduce spreads, source said. The loan will take out the existing buyout loan and some junior debt. The Skype deal comes on the heels of Warner Chilcott's failed attempt to reduce the spread on its bank loan via a repricing amendment. The Skype loan will consist of a US dollar tranche that will be priced at LIB+400 and will be issued at 99.75, along with a 1.75% Libor floor, and a Euro tranche that will be priced at EUR+450 and will be issued at 98.5. Both tranches will have soft call protection of 101. The sizes of the tranche have not been determined yet. A lender meeting has been scheduled in London for Feb. 5.
§         Price talk on Dole Food Co Inc's $850 million, seven-year term loan is LIB+325-350 with a 1.75% Libor floor, sources said. The OID is 99. Deutsche Bank, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Wells Fargo are leads. Proceeds from the loan will be used to refinance debt.