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TRW 'B' Buckles Up Over $300 Mln

The five banks leading TRW Automotive's $900 million "B" loan had rounded up more than $300 million in commitments as LMW went to press last week. A banker familiar with the deal said that some investors were waiting on the concurrent $1.4 billion bond issuance, which commenced its road show last Tuesday, before bidding into the tranche. "People know the capital structure," he explained, expecting the "B" to fill without a hitch. He added that it is one of the main companies in the auto parts sector in which investors are interested. "You need size and scale to compete," he said, speaking to TRW's market hold. Credit Suisse First Boston, J.P. Morgan, Lehman Brothers, Deutsche Bank and Bank of America are leading the deal.

The $1.81 billion credit backs The Blackstone Group's $4.7 billion buyout of Northrop Grumman's TRW Automotive business, announced last quarter. The eight-year "B" is priced at LIBOR plus 4%, while the six-year, $410 million "A" loan has a spread of 31/ 2% over LIBOR. There is also a six-year, $500 million revolver priced at LIBOR plus 31/ 2% with a 50 basis point commitment fee.

CSFB, Lehman and Deutsche Bank officials declined to comment, while J.P. Morgan and B of A bankers did not return calls by press time. A TRW spokesman also declined comment.

The banker said the pro rata is filling up also, with at least six more lenders below the arranger level. The facility launched in Europe to retail on Jan. 17, while it launched on Jan. 27 in the U.S. The banker said the deal was moving a bit slower overseas, because deals generally do not fill there as quickly as they do in the U.S. However, he noted that the company's management team is European, which could help attract more European investors.

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