Churchill Asset Management in the News

NEW YORK, August 4, 2016 – At a loan conference some years ago we referred to middle market loans as the Rodney Dangerfield of capital markets. These small, illiquid instruments were the poor step-child to high-yield bonds and large leveraged loans. But at Creditflux’s inaugural New York conference on private credit last month, it was clear the situation has changed.

NEW YORK, June 2, 2016 – Where are we in the cycle?” That question gets asked at every conference we attend. It’s also clearly on the mind now of every investor, arranger and issuer of debt. The reason is clear: if we are in the seventh innings of the cycle (which seems the consensus), a downturn might be around the corner.

NEW YORK, January 4, 2016 – I’ve discussed at length the development of revolving credit facilities. Corporate borrowers and private equity sponsors have continued to utilise this tool to maximise flexibility for acquisitions, dividend recaps and working capital. But during 2015 we’ve noted the increasing popularity of another weapon in an issuer’s financing arsenal: namely, the delayed-draw term loan (DDTL).

NEW YORK, December 3, 2015 – One of the enduring fictions about middle market loans relates to their tradability. Smaller loans, the theory goes, are priced at a premium because there are fewer ready buyers. Unlike their broadly syndicated cousins, loans below $250 million have no effective secondary market. That’s the idea, anyway.

NEW YORK, November 5, 2015 – These days it’s popular sport at loan conferences to kick the mezzanine asset class. After the credit crisis, when some investors in subordinated debt took a licking, the common question heard among market players was: “Is mezz dead?” Today the refrain is: “Is mezz still dead?” And yet, in conversations with practitioners, it seems mezz is alive and well.

NEW YORK, October 8, 2015 – When your correspondent began distributing middle market loans (in the waning days of the Reagan administration), the concept was considered novel. Back then money-centre banks underwrote and syndicated mainly large corporate loans to other relationship banks. Smaller deals were mostly self-arranged, club affairs among regional banks and finance companies.

NEW YORK, July 9, 2015 – The untimely passing last month of Jimmy Lee, JP Morgan Chase’s vice-chairman, at the age of 62, left many in the banking world reflecting on the legacy of a man who changed the face of buy-out finance. But it gave us the opportunity as well to consider the state of the industry he leaves behind.