Unitranches grow larger in 2019

European Chart of the Week: 15th July 2019

Unitranche financing saw its largest annual issuance in Europe in 2018, totalling EUR 7.66bn, up 15% from EUR 6.67bn in 2017 and up 61% from EUR 4.76bn in 2016. The first half of 2019 also saw unitranche volume jump 52% year-on-year to EUR 4bn, from EUR 2.7bn the same time last year. With EUR 7.22bn estimated in the mid-market pipeline, potential issuance at the lower end of the spectrum (deals below EUR 150m) is set to boost 2H19 volumes further.

Unitranches are also getting larger. A total of EUR 17bn was raised so far this year by direct lending funds, EUR 22bn in 2018 and EUR 32bn in 2017,so alternative lenders now have considerable funds to deploy in an ever more competitive landscape.

In 1H19,UK telecom and cloud services provider Daisy Group issued a colossal GBP 1bn refinancing & MBO funded by Ares, followed by a EUR 1.5bn unitranche-backed rival bid for Germany’s Evonik-owned methacrylate division, later tabled. And most recently, HPS Investment Partners funded USD 1.25bn financing for UK news and data provider , Acuris Group (owner of Debtwire Par).

- DarrenMaharaj darren.maharaj@acuris.com 

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