TIM drops dollar, goes for euro in current bond issue

LONDON (Reuters) – Greek mobile operator TIM Hellas has dropped plans to issue dollar-denominated notes and will sell all of its 1.28-billion-euro ($1.54 billion) two-part high-yield bond in euros, banking sources said yesterday. The sale comprises a 925-million-euro seven-year floating rate note that is set to yield 350 basis points over Libor and a 355-million-euro eight-year fixed-rate note that is set to yield 8.75 percent, a market source said earlier this week. Pricing is due today. While the European high-yield market is proving buoyant, rising interest rates in the US and concern over the economic outlook have hit demand on the other side of the Atlantic. Luxury retailer Neiman Marcus Group this week cut the size of its high-yield bond sale in the US to $1.2 billion from $2.2 billion. TIM Hellas is issuing the bonds to finance its acquisition earlier this year by Apax Partners and Texas Pacific from Telecom Italia’s mobile arm TIM. JP Morgan and Deutsche Bank are managing the bond sale. In a leveraged buyout, the debt being used to finance the acquisition is loaded onto the balance sheet of the company being acquired. The company’s cash flow then provides the payments to service the debt. TIM Hellas’s sale will be the largest in the European high-yield bond market so far this year, beating a 1-billion-euro equivalent deal from chemicals group Basell, but there are larger deals ahead.