Case finally made


A long-awaited single-seller issue from Case Credit will finally hit the Canadian markets, after a couple of coughs. A C$225 million ($161 million) equipment lease-backed deal from Case Credit that had been talked about for several months will finally settle this week.

The deal, led by Bank of Montreal's Nesbitt Burns, is divided into two sequential pass-through A-pieces. Price talk has the A1 piece at 10 basis points over bankers acceptances, and the A2 at 60 bps over.

There were some rumors on Bay Street that the deal - rated triple-A by Dominion Bond Rating Service and Moody's Investors Service - had been talked a little tightly by Nesbitt and sold to Case on promises of a tighter spread to bankers acceptances, in the 45-50 bps range.

"Perhaps it wasn't their shining moment," said one player about the deal. Sources close to the deal said results were "pretty much as anticipated," and that investor education - the usual Canadian mantra - may have been the deal's only hitch.

"Pass-throughs are not the easiest sell in Canada," said the source. "The irony is issuers prefer them and investors have a hard time dealing with them administratively."

It was Case's first deal of the year, its first since a Nesbitt-led deal in 1998, and there could be another similarly-sized deal to come from the agricultural and commercial equipment maker, said a source. - TC