Broker offers to buy back paper

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The Independent Online
THE STOCKBROKER UBS Phillips & Drew has offered to buy back a pounds 180m debt issue that it led for a subsidiary of Leyland DAF last December, writes Jason Nisse.

The broker has been inundated with calls from worried investors who bought the five-year floating rate notes, which are secured on hire purchase agreements for trucks sold by Leyland DAF and which received a AAA rating from the credit agency Standard & Poor's.

The investors are concerned about the danger that the collapse of DAF might affect the payback of the notes.

But P&D claims that all the payments are ring-fenced from the main Leyland DAF company and says that it has set up alternative arrangements for the servicing of the trucks in case Leyland DAF should fall down on its obligations.

In an attempt to calm market worries, James Holland, UBS's head of debt trading, telephoned investors yesterday to say that P&D was willing to buy the bonds back at a price of 99.3 per cent of face value.

Rivals in the securities market said they believed that P&D was already holding around a third of the issue on its own books because of a lacklustre response from investors at the time of the issue in December.

But P&D denied this and also rejected suggestions that there might be a rump of bonds with low quality security which it could be unable to sell.