Wall Street banks left holding the bag on last year’s biggest leveraged buyout amid tremors in credit markets are starting to find more investors willing to take it off their hands.
Lenders led by Morgan Stanley and Bank of America Corp. sold about $450 million of unsecured bonds this week that back Carlyle Group LP’s purchase of Symantec Corp.’s Veritas data-storage unit, according to a person with knowledge of the matter. Banks that funded the purchase still have another $3.7 billion of debt they’re holding, said the person, who asked not to be identified as the information isn’t public.
The Veritas deal was the biggest casualty of tumult in credit markets at the end of last year, as fixed income investors turned their backs on banks that had committed to sell risky corporate debt for takeovers. A resurgence in sentiment for low-rated securities has helped ease the process for lenders to revive these deals.
Banks had initially committed to sell $5.5 billion of debt for Veritas’s buyout. They were able to reduce the amount of funding needed after Carlyle reworked the takeover and cut the purchase price before closing the deal in January.
Representatives for Morgan Stanley and Carlyle declined to comment. A spokesman for Bank of America didn’t immediately comment.
A portion of the 10.5 percent unsecured notes were sold this week at 86.5 cents on the dollar, the person said. Earlier in the year, a pension fund bought about $250 million of the bonds at par and in recent weeks Carlyle repurchased about $110 million of the debt at 83.5 cents.
Veritas buyout debt still held by the banks includes a $700 million secured-bond portion that may not be marketed before July as the company would need to update potential investors with its latest quarterly earnings, said the person.
A $3 billion loan portion may be marketed earlier by lead arranger Bank of America depending on investor appetite, the person said.
U.S. junk bonds, which finished 2015 with their biggest annual loss since the 2008 financial crisis, have gained more than 13 percent since bottoming mid-February, data compiled by Bloomberg show.