BNP Paribas launched syndication last week for Wackenhut Corrections Corp.'s $150 million credit backing the company's purchase of Wackenhut shares held by majority shareholder Group 4 Falck, a Danish security firm. A banker familiar with the deal said investors had oversubscribed the six-year, $100 million "B" loan ahead of the Wednesday bank meeting, but the lead bank was still accepting more investors into the tranche. Price talk for the institutional loan is LIBOR plus 33/4%, while the five-year, $50 million revolver is being shopped at LIBOR plus 3%. The revolver is being offered with an up-front fee of 50 basis points, the banker noted. A BNP official declined to comment.
In addition to backing the purchase, the new credit will also refinance Wackenhut's existing debt. Wachovia Securities, which co-led Wackenhut's deal for $175 million with BNP late last year, is not involved in the new credit. It could not be determined why the bank was not participating in this credit and calls to Wackenhut officials and bankers at Wachovia were not returned.
Lehman Brothers and BNP are also heading up Wackenhut's concurrent $150 million bond deal that also backs the stock purchase. The Boca Raton, Fla.-based privatized prison and mental health facility operator is expected to have senior leverage of 0.23 times and total leverage of 2.94 times after the closing of the transaction and including anticipated cash from Wackenhut's sale of its 50% interest in Premier Custodial Group to management services provider Serco. Calls to Wackenhut officials were not returned by press time.