Wachovia Securities is launching a $450 million bank deal backing Gray Television's $502.5 million acquisition of Stations Holding Company, which is comprised of 15 of Benedek Broadcasting's stations. The loan comprises a $75 million revolver priced at LIBOR plus 3% and a $375 million "B" term loan priced at LIBOR plus 31/ 4%. It is undecided whether the "B" tranche will be sold at par, one banker said. Calls to Jim Ryan, cfo of Gray, were not returned. A Wachovia banker declined to comment.
The bank deal, which is rated Ba3/B+, is being launched after the successful pricing of $100 million of 91/ 4% senior notes at par last week. Bank of America and Deutsche Bank were brought in on the bonds, the banker noted. High-yield bond funds have seen two straight weeks of inflows, but it is still uncertain how the loan market will respond, another banker commented.
In addition to financing the acquisition, the loan refinances an existing $250 million credit, comprised of a $200 million "B" loan and a $50 million revolver, a banker noted, adding that there has been reverse inquiry from existing accounts.