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PRONET PLANNING TO SELL STOCK AND BOND ISSUES

NEW YORK-ProNet Inc., one of the top 10 paging companies in the country, planned to sell concurrent stock and bond issues as early as last Friday.

The common stock offering was proposed at four million shares, and the 10-year senior subordinated note issue at $100 million.

The road show, in which companies discuss themselves and their proposed securities sales with potential investors, was taking longer than anticipated, said Michael Cochran, an investment banker with Lehman Brothers, New York, lead underwriter for the concurrent offerings.

“The timing depends on how the book (of buyers) is building, and it’s doing well,” said Cochran, who is working on the deal.

“There are still people who want to see us on the road show, and we’re not going to turn anyone away.”

If the deal wasn’t priced by late Thursday, Lehman planned to hold off until Monday to price and sell the stock and bond issues, Cochran said.

ProNet, based in Dallas, is the nation’s sixth largest wireless messaging company, according to Moody’s Investors Service, New York, which gave the company’s proposed note issue a B3 rating. As of March 31, pro forma for pending acquisitions, ProNet had approximately 1.46 million pagers in service, according to Moody’s. Of these, nearly 10 percent are alphanumeric. A third are leased pagers.

ProNet has focused its business development around five geographic regions, according to a preliminary prospectus: Charlotte, N.C., Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles and New York.

In April, ProNet executed definitive agreements to acquire Teletouch Communications Inc. and to purchase from Motorola Inc. the nationwide, one-way paging license on the 931.9125 MHz frequency covering the United States and Canada. Proceeds of the new securities offerings will be used to help finance these acquisitions and for other general purposes.

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