After COVID, the elections, and what the fifth instalment of the Scream series will be called (hint: it’s not Scream 5), the topic getting the most attention from our readers is the ramp-up of SPACs, or special purpose acquisition companies.

By definition, these vehicles are publicly traded shell companies with investor cash as their only initial asset. The sponsors then have two years to merge with a target company before the vehicle would have to unwind and return the cash.

A creature of the 1990’s, SPACs were designed to help smaller businesses access public equity. After the tech bubble burst, and again following the Great Recession, the popularity of SPACs declined...

“It’s been something to write home about. There has been a real rush into risk over the last week.” – Jerry Cudzil, head of credit trading, TCW.

Featuring Charts

Chart of the Week: SPACtacular

November 19, 2020

Market volatility and dry powder pushed special purpose acquisition company activity to record levels.

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Chart of the Week: Junk Pile

November 12, 2020

With data reported only through Oct 7, high-yield bond volume has already reached record levels.

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Chart of the Week: Coronacoaster

November 4, 2020

With colder weather and lax safety measures, new COVID-19 cases have accelerated.

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Chart of the Week: Devalue Proposition

October 28, 2020

Purchase prices as multiples of borrower ebitda have slumped this year across the middle market.

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Chart of the Week: Risk Dispersion

October 21, 2020

As the COVID-19 crisis took hold, leverage distributed more widely by borrower ebitda.

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Chart of the Week: Finding Private Debt

October 15, 2020

The number of private debt funds raised globally slumped in the third quarter, but has generally held steady.

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The Pulse of Private Equity – 11/16/2020

PitchBook’s new PE manager framework Download PitchBook’s Report here. PitchBook has developed a new framework to help analyze GP investing styles. Using the Herfindahl-Hirschman Index (HHI)—a metric that measures concentration—we can assign GPs a style score using their past investments as guideposts....

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Leveraged Loan Insight & Analysis – 11/16/2020

Political headlines and investor pressure provide impetus for accelerated ESG discussions US President-elect Biden announced 10 executive actions that he will take on the first day of his presidency in January in an effort to combat climate change. This undertaking will run afoul of the Trump administration’s recent announcement that it will accept sale lease

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Private Debt Intelligence – 11/16/2020

Fund Manager Views on the Importance of Debt Lenders in the Next Five Years Private debt firms have stepped into a gap left by banks after the Global Financial Crisis and are focused on lower-risk credits. More than 30% of fund managers surveyed by Preqin for Future of Alternatives 2025 believe banks will be less

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PDI Picks – 11/16/2020

The pain is yet to come Plenty of capital has been raised in anticipation of a distressed opportunity that may take a while to materialise. Distressed debt has been a major focus for investors in recent years, as can be seen from our chart above. Although fundraising this year has been dealt a setback by

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Leveraged Loan Insight & Analysis – 11/9/2020

LBO leverage multiples stay aggressive in 4Q20 After remaining extremely light the past two quarters, LBO activity has picked up, as private equity sponsors are putting more money to work. Through the end of last week, there was US$16.5bn in completed US LBO volume, 19% higher than year-ago levels....

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State of the Capital Markets – Third Quarter 2020 Review and Fourth Quarter 2020 Outlook

October 14, 2020

Review of Current Market Conditions/ Analysis of Capital Markets Metrics/ Review of Credit Quality/ Outlook for Fourth Quarter 2020

Special Report: Post-pandemic: The New Healthcare

October 6, 2020

Beginning in June 2020 The Lead Left published a series of articles on post-pandemic healthcare. This report consolidates those articles.

Special Report: High Yield Bonds – A New Look

July 9, 2020

Beginning in May 2020 The Lead Left published a series of articles on high yield bonds. This report consolidates those articles.