Bonds backing Tenneco Inc. soared this morning on news that the automotive-components maker has agreed to be bought by affiliates of Apollo Global Management Inc. for $20 per share in cash — a roughly 100% premium to Tuesday's closing price of $9.98 per share.
With an enterprise value of $7.1 billion including debt, the take-private deal is Apollo's biggest buyout since its $7.5 billion August 2021 acquisition of Lumen Technologies' incumbent local exchange carrier, or ILEC, business.
Tenneco's 5% senior notes due 2026 dominated early trading action, rising 10.5 points to establish a new pandemic-era high of 101.75 for a yield of about 4.22%. That's as the broader high-yield market traded flat to a quarter of a point higher. The bounce brought the 2026 bonds off a 14-month low of 91.375 plumbed in odd-lot trading during yesterday's session. While buyers of those bonds outnumbered sellers by around 2:1, flows in the borrower's similarly active March 2021 placement of 5.125% secured notes due 2029 were more balanced. Those jumped more than 9 points from yesterday's 92.75 close to high ticks at 102 for a yield of around 4.587%. That's after trading lightly and mixed since Feb. 16.
Meanwhile, Tenneco's first-lien term loan due October 2025 (L+275, 0% Libor floor), which had $1.653 billion outstanding as of Sept. 30, 2021, jumped over a point to 99.25/100 today following the announcement.
S&P Global Ratings in May boosted Tenneco's rating one notch to B+ with a stable outlook, citing improving operating performance and credit metrics. Moody's has had the borrower at B2 with a stable outlook since June 2020, while Fitch affirmed its B+ rating for the company in March 2021.
Tenneco also reported earnings before the open, revealing a $35 million loss in the fourth quarter of 2021 that equates to an adjusted loss of $0.11 per share where analysts were calling for EPS of $0.16. Revenue of $4.39 billion beat the consensus estimate of $4.19 billion. Management canceled the earnings call it had scheduled for Feb. 24. in light of the Apollo deal announcement. The transaction is expected to close during the second half of this year.
Based in Lake Forest, Ill., Tenneco is a manufacturer of aftermarket, ride performance, clean air, and powertrain products and technology for diversified markets.