Sunday, 15 July 2018

Jonathan Schwarzberg' s stories

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  • Rising pricing creates challenges for big buyouts

    Loans | 06 July 2018

    Rising pricing is creating a more challenging environment for large US buyout loans that were underwritten earlier this year, including a US$13.5bn loan and bond financing for Thomson Reuters’ Finance and Risk unit and a US$8.05bn financing for Envision Healthcare.

  • PetSmart files suit against Citi over Chewy

    Loans | 29 June 2018

    Private equity-backed retailer PetSmart’s US$4.2bn Term Loan B dipped to 82.5-83 on Wednesday, a day after the company filed a lawsuit against Citigroup, the administrative agent of its term loan and asset-based revolving credit facility.

  • Second-lien, but first choice

    Loans | 22 June 2018

    US companies including cell phone insurance provider Asurion and production studio MGM are raising second-lien loans rather than cheaper high-yield bonds to take advantage of the flexibility that yield-hungry investors continue to offer.

  • KKR logo

    Envision LBO adds to deal bonanza

    Top News | 15 June 2018

    Private equity firm KKR’s US$9.9bn leveraged buyout of Envision Healthcare has helped boost private equity deal volumes to levels not seen since before the financial crisis.

  • Tensions rise as PE pushes limits

    Loans | 15 June 2018

    Investors are taking the fight against an assault on leveraged loan documentation to the courts as more private equity-backed companies, such as troubled retailer PetSmart, seek flexibility that could lead to raising new debt.

  • More companies shelve refis as markets turn choppy

    Loans | 08 June 2018

    At least two more US companies have postponed opportunistic leveraged loan refinancings after failing to attract investors at the proposed terms on heightened worries about global volatility.

  • Leverage nears pre-crisis heights

    Loans | 01 June 2018

    Leverage levels for buyouts are close to pre-credit crisis levels as banks are more willing to underwrite highly leveraged deals following the Office of the US Comptroller of the Currency’s softened stance towards lending risk.

  • Repricings lead to market fatigue as deals pulled

    Loans | 01 June 2018

    Repricing fatigue has settled over the US leveraged loan market after more than 275 companies have turned to the segment over the past three months - many to cut borrowing costs - leading some of the most aggressively priced deals to trade off or even be pulled.

  • Uber Technologies logo

    Uber looks to cut borrowing costs

    Top News | 01 June 2018

    Internet-based taxi service Uber Technologies is asking lenders to lower pricing on its US$1.13bn term loan that was agreed in July 2016 and matures in 2023.

  • OCC head says LLG needs no revisions

    Loans | 25 May 2018

    Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting said on Thursday that he does not expect to make changes to the federal leveraged lending guidance as he does not see revisions necessary, since the guidelines currently allow for flexibility for banks.

  • US dollar bills

    Regulated banks wary of Vertafore

    Top News | 25 May 2018

    US insurance software provider Vertafore has chosen banks that are not subject to leveraged lending guidance to lead an aggressive US$2.4bn dividend recapitalisation, showing that regulated lenders are still wary of highly leveraged deals.

  • Rising stars slash debt costs in robust US economy

    Loans | 18 May 2018

    Oil producer Continental Resources is one of several US companies that have been able to cut borrowing costs after their credit ratings were upgraded to investment-grade on the back of rising commodity prices and a robust economy.

  • Investors tighten loan documents with J Crew blocker

    Loans | 04 May 2018

    Lenders are tightening US leveraged loan documents to stop issuers from removing security by transferring intellectual property into new subsidiaries and raising additional debt, an issue which surfaced last year when retailer J Crew did precisely that.

  • Attendees pass by the GGP booth during the International Council of Shopping Centers meet

    GGP brings huge pro rata term loan

    Top News | 27 April 2018

    A US$7bn crossover loan package backing the US$15.3bn cash and stock acquisition of GGP, the second-largest mall owner in the US, by global commercial real estate giant Brookfield Property Partners, includes the biggest Term Loan A financing of the year so far.

  • High demand helps companies to cut pricing

    Loans | 26 January 2018

    The US leveraged loan market has opened with a bang, allowing junk-rated companies such as food packaging company Crown Holdings to reduce pricing further amid strong demand for floating-rate assets.

  • PetVet nets debt to back buyout: LPC

    Ticker | 28 December 2017

    Jefferies and KKR Capital Markets have agreed to provide financing commitments backing private equity firm KKR’s buyout of veterinary hospital PetVet, according to a statement.

  • Lower-rated firms at risk from tax changes

    Loans | 15 December 2017

    Proposed changes to the corporate tax system could hurt at least a quarter of highly-leveraged companies and cause more defaults in an economic downturn, ratings agency Moody’s said.

  • Corporate Issuer: Becton Dickinson

    Corporate Issuer: Becton Dickinson

    All Special Reports | 15 December 2017

    Becton Dickinson caught most market participants by surprise as it announced its multi-billion acquisition of CR Bard. For carefully managing investor expectations in the face of a downgrade to junk while successfully tapping the loan, bond and equity markets, Becton Dickinson is IFR’s Corporate Issuer of the Year.

  • North America Leveraged Loan: DigiCert's US$1.85bn financing

    All Special Reports | 15 December 2017

    Robust US leveraged loan market conditions in 2017 helped companies to slash borrowing costs in opportunistic deals but lesser-known borrowers and story credits were still subject to scrutiny and held to high standards despite investors’ strong appetite and ability to lend.

  • An olive branch is seen during harvest

    Regulators to soften US loan rules

    Top News | 08 December 2017

    US regulators said they are open to revising restrictions on leveraged lending, offering an olive branch to a Republican-controlled Congress keen to roll back banking regulations.

  • GNC on the hook after failed refinancing

    Loans | 08 December 2017

    Vitamin and supplement maker General Nutrition Centers’ third failed attempt to refinance an existing US$1.1bn term loan leaves the company with only a few months to avoid a potential technical default if it is unable to refinance before the loan turns current next March with a year until maturity.

  • EXCLUSIVE-US regulators offer Congress olive branch on loans

    Ticker | 07 December 2017

    US regulators said they are open to revising restrictions on leveraged lending, offering an olive branch to a GOP-controlled Congress keen to roll back banking regulations.

  • A GNC store

    GNC relaunches refinancing with all-loan structure: TRLPC

    Ticker | 27 November 2017

    Vitamin and supplement maker General Nutrition Centers (GNC) is relaunching a refinancing deal with an all-loan structure and higher proposed interest rates, sources said.

  • Opportunistic deals face investor push-back

    Loans | 24 November 2017

    Opportunistic leveraged loans for US companies, including digital research company Research Now and supplement maker General Nutrition Centers, are struggling after push-back from investors and two lower-rated companies pulled deals last week citing adverse market conditions.

  • Borrowers rush to refi despite weaker market

    Loans | 17 November 2017

    US companies are rushing to complete opportunistic refinancings and repricings in the leveraged loan market as slumping secondary prices reflect turbulence in the high-yield bond market and indicate a possible pricing correction in loans.

  • Office Depot

    Retail woes test Office Depot financing

    Top News | 27 October 2017

    A US$750m leveraged loan for publicly-traded US office supplies retailer Office Depot is testing sentiment towards the retail sector as online competition, the threat of further technological disruption, and rising default rates make investors think twice about lending.

  • The entrance to the Toys "R" Us Times Square store is seen in New York

    Playtime over for Toys 'R' Us

    Top News | 22 September 2017

    Toys ‘R’ Us has agreed a US$3.125bn debtor-in-possession financing as it seeks to restructure US$5bn of long-term debt.

  • McAfee lines up giant dividend payment

    Loans | 15 September 2017

    Software security firm McAfee is raising US$4.75bn of leveraged loans to finance a dividend payment of around US$2bn, which is one of the largest dividend payments on record, according to Thomson Reuters LPC data.

  • US leveraged loans ready for strong second half

    Loans | 25 August 2017

    The sizzling US leveraged loan market is expected to maintain its breakneck pace in the second half and potentially set new volume records, despite lower merger and acquisition activity, as the strength of investor demand continues to see off concern about mounting macroeconomic and geopolitical risks.

  • Petsmart store

    US retailers' woes worsen as loan prices slump

    Top News | 25 August 2017

    Pet supplies firm PetSmart is the latest US retailer to see its loan fall below 90% of face value as technology disruption threatens to boost borrowing costs in the struggling US retail sector and raises solvency and liquidity concerns.

  • Jumbo US buyout loans launch before summer slowdown

    Loans | 04 August 2017

    More than US$6.3bn of acquisition loans hit the US leveraged loan market last week as private equity firms launched three jumbo buyout loans to beat the summer slowdown and take advantage of favourable market conditions.

  • Appetite for second-lien increases as yields fall

    Loans | 14 July 2017

    The success of mobile phone insurance provider Asurion’s US$1.8bn second-lien loan may encourage more US companies to tap the market for US$1bn-plus junior loans to reduce their borrowing costs.

  • Senior leverage on buyouts surges to record levels

    Loans | 30 June 2017

    Senior leverage on buyouts reached record highs in the second quarter as companies including online education provider Ascend Software and secondary ticket seller Vivid Seats took on large chunks of first-lien debt to back their acquisitions.

  • Issuers walk as lenders resist aggressive refis

    Loans | 23 June 2017

    Virgin Media and plastic packaging company Berry Global have withdrawn their attempts to refinance loans to spreads in the 200bp-250bp over Libor range amid signs of resistance among leveraged lenders.

  • Hope springs eternal for LBO activity

    Loans | 23 June 2017

    US bankers say the summer may be busier than usual for sponsor-driven mergers and acquisitions, which would be good news for loan investors clamouring for leveraged buyouts to provide opportunities to put money to work.

  • Veritas comes full circle with repricing

    Loans | 16 June 2017

    Nearly a year to the day after banks finally sold the loans backing Veritas Software’s buyout at a discount of 85 cents on the dollar, the issuer has lowered the interest rate on the debt with a repricing exercise.

  • Institutional market lures middle market borrowers

    Loans | 09 June 2017

    Middle market lenders are losing higher-yielding assets to the institutional loan market as companies such as US Anesthesia Partners, attracted by the lower spreads, opt to tap the broadly syndicated market, leaving private credit managers to reinvest repayment proceeds at lower yields.

  • Love-hate reception for lev loans

    Loans | 19 May 2017

    Companies with strong earnings and good trading records, including telecoms provider CenturyLink and food company Post Holdings, are tapping the US leveraged loan market at ever-tighter spreads as investor demand remains strong for floating-rate assets.

  • Panera Bread

    Hearty demand for Panera financing

    Top News | 12 May 2017

    A US$3bn loan backing the US$7.2bn takeover of bakery chain Panera Bread by JAB Holding has already benefited from strong demand from lenders with a big appetite for the deal.

  • Companies boost financial firepower with add-on loans

    Loans | 12 May 2017

    Four US companies, including consumer goods company Spectrum Brands, launched add-on loans last week to boost the size of existing facilities, as lenders compete to offer additional debt to familiar names amid a lack of supply in 2017 so far.

  • Second-lien loans become first choice

    Loans | 05 May 2017

    Strong investor demand is allowing US private equity firms to use increasingly large second-lien loans to maximize the amount of debt and leverage that they can raise to finance buyouts such as financial software provider Misys.

  • Lenders welcome M&A surge

    Loans | 28 April 2017

    US companies have lined up at least US$42.5bn of loans to back a flurry of US mergers in sectors ranging from healthcare to food and software in the second quarter, as companies try to grow by acquisition.

  • Highly leveraged US loans still in demand

    Loans | 13 April 2017

    Traditional banks and alternative lenders are still underwriting highly leveraged US loans, despite regulatory scrutiny, as red-hot investor demand shows no sign of abating and new buyout loans remain scarce.

  • Qlik Technologies slashes loan cost

    Loans | 07 April 2017

    Data analytics firm Qlik Technologies is in the market with a US$1.07bn loan refinancing that will halve the interest margin on a highly leveraged loan that it raised from direct lenders less than a year ago, to finance its US$3bn sale to private equity firm Thoma Bravo.

  • Price cuts extend to lowest-rated B3 loans   

    Loans | 24 March 2017

    Low-rated US buyout loans are pricing with razor-thin margins not seen since the financial crisis of 2008 as a dearth of new deals allows companies to dictate terms in a borrower’s market.

  • Hilton

    US lev loan refi wave tops US$200bn

    Top News | 17 March 2017

    More than US$200bn of US leveraged loans have been refinanced or repriced so far this year and, with two weeks to go before the end of the quarter, volume is approaching the US$245m of redone loans written in the second quarter of 2013, the last peak of activity.

  • Valeant Pharmaceuticals logo

    Valeant rallies support with key refi

    Top News | 10 March 2017

    Valeant Pharmaceuticals has taken advantage of a welcoming US leveraged market to refinance, repay and extend the maturity on its creaking US$30bn debt pile with a mix of new loans and bonds as the troubled Canadian drugmaker’s equity price remains under pressure.

  • Cyxtera adds protection to loans against looming tax changes

    Loans | 10 March 2017

    Data centre operator Cyxtera is the first leveraged loan issuer to try to protect itself from moves by the US government to cut tax deductibility on interest payments that would make buyout financing more expensive.

  • Coal companies return to leveraged market

    Loans | 03 March 2017

    Rising coal prices and a more favourable outlook for the industry under the Trump administration are allowing US coal companies to sign new leveraged loans after being shut out of the market since mid-2015, despite a declining long-term outlook for the industry.

  • Premiere Global Services logo

    Once struggling loans draw red-hot demand

    Top News | 24 February 2017

    Web conferencing provider Premiere Global Services is considering a return to the loan market to reprice its debt and even add a little more to pay a dividend after struggling to sell the same buyout-related debt last year, illustrating growing demand for US leveraged loans.

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