Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley have launched syndication of a $300 million senior secured credit facility for Herbalife International to refinance existing debt. The deal consists of a $100 million secured revolver and a $200 million secured term loan. Both tranches are priced at LIBOR plus 1 1/2%. The facility will be used to repay or redeem substantially all of Herbalife's existing debt, including a $225 million credit facility, as well as $165 million of outstanding 9 1/2% notes due 2011.
The $225 million facility was put in place last year and consists of a five-year, $25 million senior secured revolver and a six-year, $200 million term loan led by Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch (LMW, 4/1/2005).
Moody's Investors Service rated both tranches Ba1. The rating is a result of the refinancing transaction coupled with Moody's expectation the company will continue to grow sales and cash flow.
The Los Angeles-based company, which offers a variety of weight loss and dietary supplements along with skin and hair care products, completed an initial public offering in December 2004. Morgan Stanley and Merrill were the joint book runners on its IPO. Private equity funds Whitney & Co. and Golden Gate Capital bought Herbalife for $685 million in 2002 (4/1/05). Calls to an official at Herbalife were not returned. Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch bankers declined comment.