Worldspan 'B' Loan Books Tickets

  • 22 Jun 2003
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The $100 million "B" loan for Worldspan, a travel reservation data company, was oversubscribed last week. There was early speculation that investors might not take to a credit for a company related to the ailing air travel industry, but buysiders oversubscribed the deal in under a week. Lehman Brothers and Deutsche Bank lead the facility. The $150 million credit for the Atlanta-based company backs the acquisition of Worldspan by Travel Transaction Processing Corp., a company formed by Citigroup Venture Capital Equity Partners--a private equity fund managed by Citigroup Venture Capital--and Teachers' Merchant Bank, the private equity arm of Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan. The private equity entities are buying Worldspan from Delta Air Lines, Northwest Airlines and American Airlines.

The four-year deal also includes a $50 million revolver and price talk for both tranches is in the LIBOR plus 41/2-5% range. The banker said one more lender committed to the revolver to join the two leads and agents Citigroup and J.P. Morgan. He did not name the new lender on the revolver. Lehman and Deutsche Bank are offering investors incentive fees for those pitching into both the institutional and pro rata pieces (LMW, 6/16). Standard & Poor's rated the credit BB- last week, while Moody's Investors Service gave the deal a B1 rating. The banker said the BB- rating from S&P was higher than the leads had expected. Lehman and Deutsche Bank officials declined to comment. Dale Messick, Worldspan's cfo, did not return calls before press time.

  • 22 Jun 2003

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