Some investors speculate the JPMorgan and Merrill Lynch $800 million deal to back NASDAQ Stock Market's acquisition of INET trading platform could be affected by Refco. "They are trying to get it done at 150 and Refco just blew up," one portfolio manager said. "I think they may have to pay more because of Refco" and the taint that might put on deals for financial services firms. Another investor said, "I think it has been completely overshadowed by Delphi, Refco. I don't think the deal has gotten much time [from investors]."
The deal, which launched Oct. 6, consists of a five-year, $50 million revolver and a six-year, $750 million term loan "B." Pricing is LIBOR plus 1 1/2% on both tranches. Moody's Investors Service assigned a Ba2 rating to the deal and says the acquisition allows NASDAQ to reclaim market share it had lost to INET and other alternative trading venues. The acquisition should allow NASDAQ to eliminate much of INET's cost base and improve the performance of NASDAQ's Market Service division.
A NASDAQ spokeswoman could not be reached. A Merrill Lynch banker referred calls to JPMorgan and a JPMorgan spokesman could not be reached.