United Van Lines parent and private concern UniGroup priced its first-ever term ABS last week in the Rule 144A markets, sources confirmed. The $55 million floating-rate offering, led by Banc One Capital Markets, was backed by trade receivables generated through executive employee relocation contracts. The single-tranche deal, with a five-year average life, priced at par with a coupon of one-month Libor plus 47 basis points, tightening from initial guidance in the 50-basis-point area.

Alex Roever, head of ABS research for Banc One, cited the high quality obligor base of the loan pool, 185 of the top 200 companies that make up the Fortune 500 have contracts with United. The trust consists of 6000 contracts up to $50,000 per, Roever said. "The high quality obligor base means the loans have a high turnover rate - they do not remain outstanding very long. The deal was also helped by a full Ambac wrap," he added.

While UniGroup has been "active in the conduit markets for some time," Roever said that term securitization will not be programmatic, as this offering is part of a long-term diversification of funding plan.

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