LONDON, March 1 (IFR) - LeasePlan is aiming to price a 1.55bn-equivalent buyout bond as early as next week, according to sources close to the deal, just one month after a sharp sell-off forced underwriters to yank the trade from the market.
The Dutch vehicle-leasing company originally attempted to price the three-tranche bond on February 11, but pulled the transaction after deteriorating credit markets saw investors demand higher-than-expected yields.
A message sent to investors that day said the deal would “be back mid-March market allowing,” by which time its full-year 2015 numbers would be ready to issue from.
A banker close to the transaction said these full-year numbers should be finished soon, allowing LeasePlan to “hopefully” return to market next week.
“Full-year numbers should be ready on Monday or Tuesday, so all they need to do is slot them into an offering circular and then they’re good to go,” he said. “If the deal doesn’t launch next week, it’ll come the beginning of the following week.”
A high-yield fund manager said that he had heard the company was “in a mad rush to get the docs ready”.
“Their base case is to price next Friday, after the ECB,” he added.
The governing council of the ECB is holding a monetary policy meeting and press conference on Thursday March 10.
A second banker on the deal said that a relaunch next week is “certainly possible” and agreed that the ECB meeting is the “one variable” in the trade’s timing.
“I personally don’t think there’s that much risk around it though, so I‘m not so sure we are going to wait. Let’s see,” he said.
Both bankers said they were aiming to price the deal tighter than where the book was covered last time, given the improvement in market sentiment.
The iTraxx Crossover index gapped out nearly 50bp to 498bp on February 11, the day LeasePlan was due to price, its widest level in several years. It has since recovered and was bid inside 400bp for the first time in weeks on Tuesday.
That day also saw the Additional Tier 1 market suffer its worst sell-off since opening in 2013, which knocked LeasePlan’s deal as it is issued from a holding company that sits above an operating company with a banking licence.
“That day was a disaster, just really bad luck,” said the second banker. “People understand how extreme the circumstances were, so it doesn’t have the usual taint of a pulled deal.”
A euro five-year non-call two-year was talked at 7.50%-8%, a seven-year non-call three year at 8%-8.25% and a US dollar five-year non-call two-year at 8.25% area last time around.
Sources close to the deal said that the book was eventually covered wide to these levels, however. (Reporting by Robert Smith, editing by Helene Durand annd Sudip Roy.)