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HY Cigarette Deal Reportedly Result Of Reverse Inquiry

25 May 2003

BondWeek is the leading news publication for fixed-income professionals, covering new deals, structures, asset-backed securities, industry and market activity.

A recent five-year offering of bonds by Commonwealth Brands appears to have been the result of "reverse inquiry," according to high-yield officials. A pair of buy-side firms reportedly each bought a substantial portion--in the tens of millions--of the $150 million 9.75% issue. The firms approached Deutsche Bank, the sole bookrunner, to express interest in a deal and agreed to buy a fixed amount. It could not be determined which firms were said to have bought the paper. Some investors that got no bonds, or a very small allocation, were said to be unhappy, according to one salesman.

A person close to the deal says that "as a general statement I will say that any client on the buy-side has the ability to play a significant role in the origination process. If you care you can make that known. Anybody can step up to the plate any time they want. Bitching about allocation after the fact is sour grapes from people who don't matter."

Calls to Rich Byrne, head of high-yield origination at Deutsche Bank, and John Poling, cfo of Commonwealth, were not returned.

25 May 2003