Deutsche Bank and Bank One were on their way to filling a $300 million "B" loan for Lennar Corp. last week. The loan will refinance Miami-based Lennar's existing $390 million senior secured "B" piece, locking in a lower rate of LIBOR plus 2%, compared to the previous rate of LIBOR plus 21/ 2%, according to a banker familiar with the credit. Retail syndication of the deal launched Feb. 10. Lennar's debt was upgraded last month by Moody's Investors Service and Standard & Poor's, boosting the home-building company to investment-grade status at BBB-/Baa3. Deutsche Bank and Bank One officials declined to comment.
Bank of America, Credit Lyonnais, Comerica Bank, SunTrust Bank, Wachovia Securities and U.S. Bank were syndicate members of the initial "B" loan, however, it could not be confirmed if all of these lenders would participate in the refinanced deal. Last month, Lennar completed a $350 million, 10-year senior note offering at 5.85%. The notes were priced to yield 6.18% and will be used for the repayment or purchase of existing indebtedness, general corporate purposes, company operations and acquisitions. Salomon Smith Barney and Bank One acted as joint-bookrunning managers for the bond deal. Bruce Gross, Lennar's cfo, did not return calls by press time.