Cheap money with flexible terms prompted SPX Corp. to tap the bank loan market to support its international growth. Jeremy Smeltzer, corporate finance director, said that as the company grows and targets acquisitions, it made sense to take advantage of the cheap bank capacity available to the company. He added that the majority of the company's debt is in bonds and that it had not updated its credit agreement since 1998. "We had little bank debt," said Smeltzer. "We had convertible notes that represented most of the debt. We decided to use bank debt to refinance the debt because credit facilities provide the greatest flexibility. The terms are more flexible than bond indentures," said Smeltzer.
The new credit facility consists of a five-year, $450 million revolving credit line; a five-year, $750 million delayed draw term loan; and a five-year, $425 million foreign trade facility. All tranches are priced at LIBOR plus 87.5 basis points. The credit replaces a five-year, $500 million revolver and a $57 million term loan, both priced at LIBOR plus 2%. JPMorgan led the new revolver and term loan. The Bank of Nova Scotia was the syndication agent. JPMorgan was the lead on the previous facility.
The new foreign trade facility will issue foreign credit instruments, such as standby letters of credit and bank guarantees. It replaces six smaller bilateral facilities that together amounted to approximately $200 million and had similar pricing as the new single facility. The company chose to consolidate the facilities into one so that it could have more control over the issuance of foreign credit instruments. The company chose Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein and Deutsche Bank to co-arrange the foreign trade facility because of their large presence in the European bank market.