Heinz Said to Reduce Rate on Term Portions of $12 Billion Loan

H.J. Heinz Co., the ketchup maker being acquired by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. and 3G Capital., reduced the rate on as much as $8.5 billion of the $12 billion in loans backing the purchase, according to a person with knowledge of the transaction.

A six-year B1 loan will pay interest at 2.25 percentage points more than the London interbank offered rate, down from 2.75 percentage points to 3 percentage points originally proposed, said the person, who requested not to be identified because the information isn’t public. A seven-year B2 slice will pay interest at 250 basis points more than the benchmark, the person said.

Both loans will have a one percent floor on the lending benchmark, with the B1 slice being sold at 99.5 cents on the dollar and the B2 piece offered at 99.5 cents or 99.75 cents, the person said. Call protection of 101 cents will apply for one year on the first debt and for two years on the second borrowing.

The rate on both deals will be reduced by 25 basis points if the ratio of Heinz’s debt to earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortizaton is less than 2.1 times when the deal closes, said the person.

Lenders are being asked to commit to the deal by 3 p.m. today in New York, the person said.

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