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Keystone Automotive Seeks Dividend Loan; Atlas Cuts Debt Cost

July 19 (Bloomberg) -- Keystone Automotive Operations Inc. is asking lenders for $335 million of loans to help fund a shareholder dividend, while Atlas Energy LP cut debt costs amid record demand for junk loans.

Keystone, owned by Platinum Equity LLC, is seeking a $235 million first-lien term loan due in six years and a $100 million second-lien portion maturing in seven years, according to a person with knowledge of the deal. UBS AG, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Bank of America Corp. are arranging the financing, which will also help the auto-parts maker refinance debt, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the transaction is private.

Companies are tapping the bank debt market as investors added a record $1.8 billion this week to U.S. loan funds, according to Bank of America.

Atlas lowered the cost of a $240 million acquisition loan it’s seeking to 5.5 percentage points more than the London interbank offered rate after originally proposing 6 percentage points to 6.5 percentage points more than the lending benchmark, said another person with knowledge of the matter. Libor will have a 1 percent floor.

The Pittsburgh-based company said June 10 that its exploration and production unit was buying natural gas reserves in New Mexico and Alabama from EP Energy LLC for $733 million, as well as reserves in Oklahoma for $67 million.

Deutsche Bank AG and Wells Fargo & Co. are arranging the financing for the purchases.

Loan prices rose for a ninth straight day to 98.33 cents on the dollar today, according to the Standard & Poor’s/LSTA U.S. Leveraged Loan 100 index.

To contact the reporter on this story: Christine Idzelis in New York at cidzelis@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Faris Khan at fkhan33@bloomberg.net

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