(Bloomberg) -- U.S. leveraged loan sales tied to the Secured Overnight Financing Rate are picking up pace after JPMorgan Chase & Co. established a blueprint for borrowers earlier this month.
Gateway Casinos & Entertainment Ltd sold a $1.07 billion loan Friday at a spread of 800 basis points -- or 8% -- over SOFR, in addition to a credit-spread adjustment, according to people with knowledge of the matter. It also sold a C$218.6 million loan at an 800-basis-point spread to the Canadian market’s benchmark, said the people who asked not to be identified because the details are private.
The loan is interesting for reasons including that it’s led by Morgan Stanley. JPMorgan brought the first three deals linked to the new SOFR benchmark, helping establish norms on how to use it in future transactions. Since companies can no longer issue new financial products with Libor starting in 2022, more deals are welcomed.
Federal Reserve Governor Randal Quarles has warned banks that there will be no reason for them to use Libor after 2021 for new deals and the central bank will employ a “full panoply of supervisory tools” to enforce the transition away from Libor. Libor will cease for legacy deals in the middle of 2023.
Morgan Stanley also adopted a pricing strategy similar to JPMorgan’s. It set a 10-basis-point credit-spread adjustment for the one-month rate -- a rate-lifting measure meant to compensate for the fact that SOFR is usually below Libor -- and 15 basis points for the three-month rate, said the people.
Read more: JPMorgan Completes First SOFR Leveraged Loan in Watershed Deal
Gateway Casinos will use proceeds from the deal to refinance existing debt. It has the option to borrow more in lieu of making interest payments, said the people.
Bank of America Corp., meanwhile, set final terms on a $610 million loan for investment company Heubach Corp. on Friday. That deal is also tied to SOFR, offering a spread of 500 basis points over the new benchmark, with the same credit-spread adjustments for one and three months.
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