When PEI sat down with five seasoned leveraged finance professionals in London recently, it became clear that although business is good, they were keen to tread carefully in today's market. There also seemed to be a growing sense that the dynamic between sponsor and finance provider has changed – to the sponsors' advantage. We talked to them about the issues behind this shift and heard why getting it right matters all the more today.
The leveraged finance community in Europe have plenty to be working on: the deal pipeline is filling up and the private equity firms have the appetite to acquire sizeable assets. But the problem is that a host of financiers have noticed this. Whether a senior or more subordinated debt or mezzanine provider: wherever you tread you are going to find several of your peers ahead and behind you. Is it time to start talking about a leverage finance overhang, ask David Hawkins and Philip Borel.
In the late 1990s, the bottom dropped out of the European high yield market, not least because of problems in the cable sector. Now high yield is coming back, and its appetite for cable is recovering as well.
'Enronitis' and America's 'No Growth' economic future are threatening to stifle entrepreneurial spirits in the US, argues Joseph W. Bartlett, Of Counsel Fish & Richardson.
Struggling Dutch distribution company Hagemeyer, which is currently considering the sale of part of its equity to a financial investor, has sold its technical tape unit to Gilde Investment for E33m.
The Dutch distribution business has confirmed that it is holding talks with Clayton, Dubilier & Rice over ways of refinancing the debt-laden business.
Global investment conglomerate Investcorp announced the sale of water meter company Neptune Technology Group to strategic buyer Roper Industries for a total consideration of $475m.
The Italian private equity firm has acquired the European fabric manufacturing unit from bankrupt US group Galey & Lord.
UK pension funds are big, numerous and most are looking for the kind of superior returns that can be delivered by alternative asset classes such as private equity. Shouldn't there be more of them investing greater percentages of their capital in such alternatives therefore? Philip Borel looks at the reasons why this hasn't been happening and asks: are the fund trustees to blame?
Bonds and loans issued in November to fund the $4.2bn leveraged acquisition of Ondeo Nalco sold like hotcakes. In a transaction that bodes well for next year, debt investors couldn't get enough – literally. Deal Mechanic explains why.

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