Syndication launched last week for the $1.1 billion term loan backing The Jean Coutu Group's acquisition of the Northeast and mid-Atlantic Eckerd Corp. stores. The institutional lender meeting was held last Wednesday. Bankers are waiting for ratings to determine pricing, but are initially guiding to the LIBOR plus 2 1/2-3/4% range. Deutsche Bank, Merrill Lynch and National Bank of Canada are leading the credit, which also includes a $350 million revolver and $250 million "A" loan.
Two weeks ago the lead banks signed on six managing agents on the pro rata, each taking $70 million tickets. The agent banks are Bank of Montreal, Bank of Nova Scotia, BNP Paribas, Royal Bank of Canada, Toronto Dominion Bank and Caisse de Depot. A retail meeting was held last Tuesday in Montreal, where $15-20 million tickets were offered. A Jean Coutu spokeswoman did not return calls. Deutsche Bank and Merrill bankers either did not return calls or declined comment.