Pinnacle Seeks $2.6 Billion for Ameristar Purchase as Loans Gain

Pinnacle Entertainment Inc., the operator of seven casinos in the U.S., is seeking $2.6 billion in loans to fund the acquisition of Ameristar Casinos Inc. as prices of the debt rose for a sixth straight day.

The financing includes a $1.6 billion, seven-year term loan and a $1 billion revolving line of credit due in five years, according to a person with knowledge of the transaction who asked not to be identified because the deal is private. JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. are arranging the financing and will host a lender meeting tomorrow at 11 a.m. in New York.

Prices of leveraged loans rose for a sixth day in a row, gaining 0.08 cent to 98.01 cents on the dollar, according to Standard & Poor’s LSTA Leveraged Loan 100 Index. Investors poured $777 million into bank loan funds last week, according to JPMorgan Chase.

“The ability to weather recent volatility across global markets has mostly to do with a very strong technical bid for floating-rate product,” JPMorgan analysts led by Peter Acciavatti wrote in a July 12 report. “Loan mutual funds have now experienced 24 consecutive inflows which have paced, matched or exceeded $800 million, an astounding streak.”

Loblaw Cos., Canada’s largest supermarket company by market value, will use $5.1 billion of loans to support its purchase of Shoppers Drug Mart Corp., according to a statement today from the companies. Bank of America Corp. is providing the debt, which consists of a $3.5 billion term piece and $1.6 billion bridge facility.

Steinway Loans

Steinway Musical Instruments Inc. will meet with lenders on July 18 at 10:30 a.m. in New York to discuss $325 million in loans to support Kohlberg & Co.’s acquisition of the owner of the 160-year-old piano maker, according to a person with knowledge of the deal. The financing includes a $175 million first-lien term portion, a $75 million second-lien piece and a $75 million asset-backed loan.

Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. began marketing a $1.875 billion bridge loan today, according to a person with knowledge of the transaction. The company agreed last month to be acquired by Apollo Tyres Ltd. for about $2.5 billion.