Asset-backed primary market activity came at a fast and furious pace last week, pricing just over $11 billion of new issuance, up from the $6.7 billion priced the previous week. Topping the list of new deals to hit were Ford Motor Credit, Option One Mortgage and American Honda Finance, with smaller but notable offerings from Household Finance, Access Group and Xerox.
With two deals offered concurrently, Ford Motor Credit sold a total of $5 billion of wholesale dealer floorplan receivables-backed paper via the lead of Lehman Brothers. The company, which had not sold paper of this asset type since 1997, sold $3 billion of three-year 2001-1 and $2 billion of five-year 2001-2 floating-rate deals that were increased from initial sizes of $2 billion and $1 billion, respectively.
The three-year 2001-1 deal was approximately 1.5 times oversold and the five-year 2001-2 deal was approximately 2.5 times oversold, leading to the classes pricing at levels at the tight end of price guidance, despite the increase in supply.
Option One sold a total of just under $2 billion of subprime mortgage-backed paper via the joint leads of Banc of America Securities and Greenwich Capital Markets. The series OOMLT 2001-3 deal featured $1.687 billion of a Freddie Mac-wrapped T-35 class, with the remainder offered with a senior/mezz/sub structure. Demand for T series paper continues to be strong, with the triple-A rated FSPC A class, with a 3.02-year average life, pricing at a level of 14 basis points over one-month Libor.
The U.S. finance arm of Honda Motor Co. priced $1.56 billion of a prime auto loan-backed deal via the joint leads of Banc One and Salomon. The second offering of the year went well for Honda, as the fixed-rate offering priced at the tight end of guidance for the money market, one-year and two-year classes and tightened one basis point on the three-year tranche.
In the subprime auto sector, Household Finance priced $700 million of a fixed-rate series 2001-2 deal via lead manager JP Morgan Securities. While not a frequent issuer in the auto-loan sector, Household's background in credit cards and strength as a servicer helped as Household "has a loyal following among investors," according to a source at the lead manager.
In the student-loan sector, which is behind last year's pace in supply, Access Group sold $789 million of student loan-backed notes via Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown. The floating-rate offering contained $471 million of FFELP-guaranteed and $318 million of unsecured loans indexed to three-month Libor.
Old economy office equipment giant Xerox Inc. brought a $513 million single-tranche deal backed by over 50,000 leases for mostly copiers and printers. The offering, rated A3/A/A by the three major agencies, is enhanced by a retained certificated class, a 5% reserve fund and 5.7% excess spread. The one-year deal priced at par with a floating-rate coupon of 200 basis points over one-month Libor.
As of press time there were two deals remaining in the pipeline, scheduled to price Friday, $410 million of a home-equity loan deal from Credit Suisse First Boston and a small $110 million trade receivables deal from first-time issuer Levi Strauss.