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 NEW YORK, Oct. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- The Equitable Companies Incorporated (NYSE: EQ) announced today that its insurance subsidiaries, The Equitable Life Assurance Society of the U.S. and Equitable Variable Life Insurance Company (EVLICO), have completed the sale of approximately $700 million of privately placed fixed and floating rate high-yield debt obligations in a collateralized bond obligation (CBO) transaction.
 "By taking advantage of the current strong market for asset-backed securities, we have further improved the quality of The Equitable's bond portfolio," said Richard H. Jenrette, chairman and chief executive officer of The Equitable Companies. As a result of this and other transactions, Equitable Life and EVLICO have reduced their below investment grade portfolio to less than four percent of assets. The cash proceeds from the CBO transaction have been reinvested by Equitable Life and EVLICO primarily in investment grade bonds.
 Structure of Transaction
 The capitalization for EQ Asset Trust 1993, a trust established for the CBO, was structured by Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette (DLJ) in three separate tranches. The Class A Asset-Backed Notes in the amount of $385 million, which carry a "Aaa" rating by Moody's and a "AAA" rating by Duff & Phelps, were purchased by institutional investors in a Rule 144A private placement transaction arranged by DLJ as lead manager and Goldman, Sachs & Co. as co-manager. The Class A Notes have a coupon of 5 percent and an expected average life of about 2.4 years.
 In addition, $200 million of Class B Asset-Backed Notes, which bear interest at rates from 6.85 percent - 9.45 percent and represent senior subordinated obligations of the Trust, were purchased by Equitable Life and EVLICO. Class C Asset-Backed Notes and equity in the Trust in the amount of $101.8 million, which represent the most subordinated securities, were purchased by The Equitable Companies, the parent holding company of the life insurance companies.
 The CBO is a form of asset-backed security which pools bonds of lower quality and issues multiple tranches of securities. The collateral underlying this CBO represents 105 issues of 66 corporate issuers in 23 different industry categories of Moody's, and has a total par value of approximately $703 million. Alliance Capital Management L.P. will serve as the Manager for the Trust.
 The Equitable Companies Incorporated is one of the world's largest asset managers with over $170 billion in funds under management through products distributed by its primary businesses: The Equitable Life Assurance Society; Equitable Variable Life Insurance Company; Alliance Capital Management, L.P.; Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, Inc.; and Equitable Real Estate Management, Inc. The Equitable and AXA, its largest shareholder and global partner, are among the world's leading providers of insurance and asset management products and services to individuals and institutions.
 -0- 10/12/93
 /CONTACT: Nancy M. Amiel, 212-554-4293, or (investors) Greg Wilcox, 212-554-2595, both of The Equitable Companies Incorporated/

CO: The Equitable Companies Incorporated ST: New York IN: FIN INS SU:

MP -- NY030 -- 0979 10/12/93 09:56 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 12, 1993

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