A veteran of leveraged lending and astute Lead Left reader disagreed with our statement last week that private credit terms have never been more investor-friendly. In a note to the editor he compared them to more conservative loan structures and legal protections in the 1990’s.
Since then, he pointed out, private equity owners and their legal teams have found innovative ways to weaken lender positions such as moving assets out of borrower entities and diminish rights acceleration. Not to mention the elimination of financial covenants.
Our reader has a good point. Having been at JP Morgan during that period, we had a ringside market-leader seat on how a slew of lender protections in credit agreements eroded over time. The technology and sophistication of broadly syndicated leveraged loans over the past three decades has developed to the point where they match high-yield bonds in issuer-friendliness.