Loan Market Update: Q1-Q3 Recap, Trends & What’s Next
October 02, 2023
From Q1-Q3 of 2023, the U.S. loan market was marked by novel deal patterns and uneven market activity. Initially, the bulk of deals were portfolio work, including amend & extend transactions, covenant relief amendments and LIBOR transition amendments. With respect to new issuances, private credit deals continued to outpace syndicated transactions and recurring revenue financings increased in frequency and quantum. Beginning this summer, deal volume began to pick up, even if it has not yet quite returned to the levels seen in late 2020 into the first half of 2022. Pricing pressures were front and center as reference rates (one-month Term SOFR) rose to over 5.25% (just as USD LIBOR ceased publication at the end of Q2), which abated slightly when the Federal Reserve declined to raise rates in September. At the forefront of deal term negotiations beyond pricing were MFN protections, financial covenant structures, and leakage & uptiering protections.