Legal Business

Europe’s credit markets – the future is not where it used to be

Ashurst’s Mark Vickers and Helen Burton assess a seismic shift in Europe’s leveraged debt markets

For many participants in Europe’s leveraged market, 2014 on first impressions heralded something approaching a new normal. According to data from 3i, Debt Management, leverage debt issuance in 2014 reached a total of €150bn; leveraged loan issuance was €78.4bn, the highest volume since 2007; and European high yield had another record-breaking year with total issues of €72bn. The European CLO market performed similarly strongly, raising €14.5bn, the third-strongest year of issuance on record. But behind the semblance of a market re-asserting its momentum, a number of fundamental features are coming together to divert the market’s direction of travel. And these changes have potentially far-reaching implications for law firms engaged in the European leveraged landscape.