Credit Suisse First Boston and J.P. Morgan Chase will syndicate $5 billion of the $6 billion credit they launched on behalf of defense contractor Northrop Grumman. Sources close to the deal say at least $1 billion of the credit will be held by the banks to provide bridge financing for the company as it plans an upcoming bond offering for at least $1 billion. "They're doing a bond deal because there's not a lot of depth in the pro rata market right now," said one banker, explaining that the change was made in light of a more favorable environment for the company in the bond market.
The banker added that the banks are providing the bridge on the expectation that a bond deal is expected to come to market fairly quickly. Calls made to CSFB and J.P. Morgan Chase were not returned by press time. Citigroup is syndication agent on the deal.