Magazine article American Banker

Westinghouse Nears $6 Billion Credit

Magazine article American Banker

Westinghouse Nears $6 Billion Credit

Article excerpt

Westinghouse Nears $6 Billion Credit

Despite the well-publicized woes of its finance subsidiary, Westinghouse Electric Corp. is proving to be a strong draw in the bank loan market.

A new $6 billion credit for the Pittsburgh-based company is expected to be fully underwritten today by a group of 15 to 20 banks led by Chemical Bank.

Bankers said the credit was attractively priced to compensate them for the ongoing uncertainties relating to the commercial real estate portfolio of Westinghouse Credit Corp.

As of Thursday afternoon, over $4 billion in commitments had been raised from banks invited to participate as coagents, banking sources said. That's on top of Chemical's own commitment of $600 million as lead bank.

More than Enough

A number of other banks were considered likely to sign up by today's deadline, raising the prospect that total underwriting commitments could exceed $6 billion, sources said.

Some banks were asked to commit $400 million each, while another tier of banks were asked to commit $250 apiece.

Officials at Chemical declined to comment on the underwriting effort, or the terms of the credit.

Terms of Agreement

However, banking sources said that under the new three-year credit agreement, Westinghouse initially would pay an all-in rate of 100 basis points over the London interbank offered rate.

The all-in rate, which is based on the compant's current single-A credit rating, consists of a borrowing rate of 50 basis points over Libor, an annual facility fee of 37. …

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