Carlyle Sweetens Lending Terms for Banks Funding Veritas Buyout

Banks that committed to fund Carlyle Group LP’s purchase of Symantec Corp.’s data-storage unit renegotiated terms with the private-equity firm in an effort to guard against potential losses, people with knowledge of the matter said.

Under the changes, the banks will have more flexibility to boost yields and offer discounts on the loans when they try to sell them to capital-market investors, the people said, asking not to be named because the discussions are private. Carlyle agreed to the new terms as earnings weakened at Veritas, they said.

Symantec and Carlyle agreed to cut the purchase price for Veritas to $7.4 billion from $8 billion last week after uncertainties developed regarding the transaction, the companies said in a Jan. 19 statement. The re-pricing also reduced the debt component of the deal, allowing a high-yield bond offering to be cut by about $950 million, the people said.

Equity Boost

The new agreement will boost the equity portion of the deal to 40 percent from 33 percent, and reduce leverage to 5.8 times earnings from 6.7 times earnings, people familiar with the matter said last week.

Lenders led by Bank of America Corp. and Morgan Stanley shelved a $5.5 billion debt offering in November to finance the Veritas acquisition -- the largest leveraged buyout announced last year -- as investors shunned risky corporate debt amid concerns that global growth was slowing. Since then debt markets have deteriorated further, and global issuance of new debt this month slowed to its lowest in more than a decade.

Representatives from Bank of America, Morgan Stanley and Carlyle declined to comment. A representative for Symantec didn’t immediately provide comment when contacted outside of regular business hours.

Carlyle and Symantec last week said that they expected the deal to close by Friday. Banks will be required to fund the Veritas purchase once the transaction closes, provided the deal conditions have been satisfied.

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