TRLPC: Belk drastically widens discount on US$1.5bn buyout credit

NEW YORK, Nov 18 (Reuters) - Fashion department store operator Belk Inc widened the discount to 89 from a range of 98-98.5 on the proposed US$1.5bn first-lien term loan backing its approximately US$3bn buyout by private equity firm Sycamore Partners, sources told Thomson Reuters LPC.

The revised guidance comes the day after data storage provider Veritas pulled a US$4.8bn debt package backing its buyout by the Carlyle Group. The financing had already been reduced from US$5.5bn, citing market conditions.

In addition to widening the discount, Belk set the spread on the wide end of the original 450-475bp range over Libor. The floor remains at 1%.

Belk also previously cut the size of the loan, by US$100m last week. The first-lien term loan launched on Oct 28 at US$1.6bn. Commitments are due Nov 19 after originally being scheduled for Nov 11.

Morgan Stanley leads the first-lien facility along with Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Jefferies, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Nomura, Royal Bank of Canada and MCS Capital Markets.

The company previously said in a regulatory filing that it had lined up a total of US$2.575bn in debt financing commitments, including up to a US$1.775bn first-lien loan, a US$800m revolving credit facility and a US$600m second-lien term loan.

The group of banks offering the commitments for the entire financing package include Morgan Stanley, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Jefferies, Nomura, Royal Bank of Canada, Wells Fargo and GSO Capital.

Sycamore agreed to provide up to US$658.8m of equity to sponsor the leveraged buyout of Charlotte, North Carolina-based Belk. The acquisition was announced Aug 24. (Editing By Lynn Adler and Jon Methven)