J.P. Morgan and Credit Suisse First Boston today are launching syndication of a financing package backing J.P. Morgan Partners' $539 million acquisition of Brand Services from DLJ Merchant Banking. The bank portion comprises a $150 million "B" term loan and a $50 million revolver, which will be undrawn at closing. Pricing on the seven-year "B" piece is LIBOR plus 31/ 4%, while that on the six-year revolver is LIBOR plus 23/ 4% with a 50 basis point commitment fee.
The financing package also includes a $165 million senior subordinated note offering, a $20 million letter of credit facility and $4.2 million of capital leases and notes payable. Calls to Christopher Behrens, a general partner at the acquiring private-equity shop, and CSFB bankers, were not returned.
DLJ's private-equity unit put the St. Louis-based industrial scaffolding company up for sale in April, after acquiring it from Waste Management for $190 million in 1996. The banks that advised on the sale were said to be offering staple-on financing that amounted to five times leverage, but this has since been pulled back, said a banker familiar with the situation.
Standard & Poor's has put Brand Services' single-B corporate credit rating on watch with developing implications. The fear is that the new owners could decide to capitalize the company in a manner that has an unfavorable effect on its already aggressive financial profile, the agency noted in its report. J.P. Morgan Partners, however, does intend to inject $220 million of new equity into the deal.