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Banks Offload $8.55 Billion of Citrix Debt at Rock-Bottom Prices

·2 min read

(Bloomberg) -- A group of banks led by Bank of America Corp. and Credit Suisse Group AG has finally offloaded more than half of the $15 billion debt package supporting the buyout of Citrix Systems Inc. at steep discounts.

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The $4 billion secured high-yield bond portion of the deal priced at a discount of 83.56 cents on the dollar, for an all-in yield of 10%, according to a person familiar with the matter. Earlier price discussions called for a much lower yield in the high-8% range. Meanwhile, the $4.05 billion leveraged loan sold at a discount of 91 cents, according to another person close to the situation.

The package also includes a euro-denominated loan equivalent in size to $500 million, which also priced at 91 cents on the dollar.

Banks have been struggling to offload risky debt backing leveraged buyouts to institutional investors as the outlook for the global economy continues to dim. This means that money managers are shying away from lower-rated credit, instead allocating cash to safer, higher-quality debt.

The cost of borrowing has spiked as well, driving up the average junk yield to 8.7%. That level far exceeds the maximum interest rates that banks had guaranteed when they underwrote the debt commitments backing the buyout by Vista Equity Partners and Elliott Investment Management in January, and ultimately forced them to offer steep discounts to drum up demand.

Bank of America is leading Citrix’s leveraged loan sale, while Credit Suisse is leading the bond sale.

The remainder of the acquisition financing comprises $3.95 billion of second-lien debt and a $2.5 billion loan that the banks plan to hold on their own balance sheets. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is leading the second-lien debt portion.

(Updates with final pricing.)

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