Smooth Sailing

In what was described as a series of events in which “several things went wrong,” a 230-foot long replica of Noah’s Ark plowed into a Norwegian patrol boat last week. The collision cut a gaping hole in the side of the bible boat, leaving the owner distraught. “It’s an awful dream, to have an accident with the ark of Noah.”

No mention whether the vessel carried two of the same insurance policies on board.

Closer to home, investors have seen mostly calm waters in the leveraged loan markets over the past couple weeks. Steady, but still modest, deal flow mixed with available cash makes for positive conditions – a dramatic turnaround from a tepid first quarter.

The demand side is not tough to figure out. S&P LCD reports a modest turnaround of retail fund flows from outflows of about $700 million in April, to $376 million of inflows last month. That in combination with steady new CLO formation this year – over $5 billion in May – has put cash in the pockets of institutional funds.

On the supply side, the broadly syndicated pipeline stands around $40 billion; not too shabby, but off from the average forward calendar. That’s caused a bit of a feeding frenzy for better credits. One example was Ennis-Flint, Olympus Partners’ buyout that flexed its $442 million TLB down by 25 bps (to L+400) and tightened OID (to 99.75).