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Utah International Finance Corporation - Lehman Brothers Collection

Utah International Finance Corporation

List of Deals

Utah International Finance Corporation was organized in 1968 as a wholly owned subsidiary of Utah International Inc. The new company was created to raise funds for several foreign mining ventures operated by the parent company.

The history of Utah International, which for most of the twentieth century was known as Utah Construction Company or Utah Construction & Mining Company, was remarkable for the role that it played in the development of the western United States.

Utah Construction Company was founded in Ogden, Utah, in January 1900 by three brothers, Edmund O., William H., and Warren L. Wattis. Early investors in the company included David Eccles, Thomas D. Dee, and James Pingree. Railroad building comprised much of its early activity, including the construction of lines throughout the West and in Mexico. The company also became involved in ranching, purchasing 600,000 acres of land in Nevada upon which it ran cattle and sheep. The company had branched successfully into dam building by the end of the 1920s, its most important early project being the Hetch Hetchy Dam on the Tuolumne River in California.

In 1931 Utah Construction joined five other companies to create the combine that would erect the massive Hoover Dam on the Colorado River. Other dam-building projects followed, some such as the Grand Coulee Dam in Washington, developed as joint ventures with other firms, while more came to Utah Construction alone. Some of its most notable dam projects were in the state of Utah, including Pineview Dam on the Ogden River and Wanship Dam on the Weber. Related activities such as tunnels and canals also occupied much of the company.

During World War II, Utah Construction engaged in numerous war-contract activities, often in partnership with such firms as Kaiser and Morrison-Knudsen. In the postwar period, and under the guidance of board chairman Marriner Eccles, the company expanded its activities into mining (mostly coal and iron), dredging, and land development, and transferred its corporate headquarters to San Francisco. Changing its name to Utah Construction and Mining Company, and eventually to Utah International, Inc., it moved rapidly into international mining and construction operations, principally in Peru and Australia, becoming in the process one of the largest and most successful multinational mining companies in the world.

Utah International Finance began a two-part $40 million debt offering in the European public markets in March 1972. The offering was composed of two $20 million portions of 8 percent sinking fund debentures and 7½ percent notes. The underwriting deal was led by Lehman Brothers, Dean Witter & Company, Banca Commerciale Italiana, and Banque de Paris & des Pays-Bas. The proceeds were to be used to reduce bank debt owed by the parent company in Europe.

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