J.P. Morgan is in the market with a $550 million credit backing Charles River Laboratories International's acquisition of Inveresk Research Group. The acquisition is a move to increase the company's international presence. "Our current facility is primarily U.S.-based banks and with our new facilities we're really gearing up to have a mix of U.S. and non-U.S. banks in keeping with the change in complexion of the company as we become more of a multinational," said Carol Vachon, Charles River's treasurer.
The structure appealed to the company because of its prepayablitiy. "It seemed to make the most sense in light of our ability to prepay a large portion of principal," Vachon said. "Based on that we thought it was best to go with a large size term 'A' and a smaller revolver." Susan Hardy, director of investor relations, added, "We do generate a significant amount of cash and we prefer to keep leverage low."
The credit comprises a $150 million revolver and $400 million "A" loan. Both tranches mature in five years and are being offered at LIBOR plus 1 1/2%. Credit Suisse First Boston, Wachovia Securities, Bank of America and Citizens Bank signed onto the facility prior to the bank meeting last Monday, Vachon noted. Commitments are due Sept. 27. A J.P. Morgan spokesman declined comment.
J.P. Morgan is the lead bank on the company's current $100 million revolver. Inveresk currently has a $55 million revolver led by Wachovia that is being refinanced along with the transaction.