New era loans

Syndication of eight leveraged loan deals has been completed since last summer’s credit crunch, according to research by ING. Far from improving as the crunch recedes, anecdotal evidence suggests the larger of them, deals like Firth Rixson at £625m (€841.7m) and Almatis at US$970m (€658.2m), would struggle to close in the current climate, even with aggressive OIDs. Mandates, however, are still being sought and won, more than 30 “new era” deals have been underwritten in Europe.

The table below shows that while syndication strategies might vary from formal launches and bank meetings to auctions and one-on-one pitches there is a cadre of arrangers in Europe convinced that there is a bid and a deal type which can meet the criteria of those investors who haven’t (yet) headed for the hills (see table).