Middle Market

And Such Small Portions (First of a Series)

Last fall we ran a special series on the size of the middle middle for loans (“How Big is the Middle Market”). This week we re-examine that question with Kelly Thompson, the middle market analyst for LevFin Insights. In a recent report, Kelly discussed both the volume of middle market loan activity in 2017 as

How Big is the Middle Market? (Last of a Series)

So far we’ve used three methodologies to size the universe of middle market loans. Using annual issuance data and average life calculations, we arrived at outstandings of $410 billion, before run-off and refinancings. Then we took the middle market refinancing cliff, which is overstated relative to outstandings, to come up with a midcap universe of

How Big is the Middle Market? (Third of a Series)

Last week we looked at sponsored middle market loan volume to come up with an idea of how large the midcap universe is. Before run-offs and refinancings, we came up with a figure of $410 billion. Now we turn our attention to the sponsored middle market refinancing cliff. As our Chart of the Week highlights, about $238

How Big is the Middle Market? (Second of a Series)

To get a better handle on the total universe of middle market loans, let’s define what we mean by the middle market. Should we include, for example, both non-sponsored as well as sponsored loan volume? Thomson Reuters LPC estimates there’s been an average of $100 billion in annual non-sponsored activity since 2000. But these financings

How Big is the Middle Market? (First of a Series)

As great mysteries of life go, it’s not quite in the same category as what’s the universe made of, how does gravity work, or what ever happened to tan M&Ms. But for those who make it our career home, one of the most often-asked and vexing questions over the years has been, how big is

A Year in Review (Last of a Series)

2016 was the Chinese Year of the Monkey. We’re not sure what this meant, or how it applied to the middle market, but in looking at how loans spreads behaved throughout the year, there might have been some relationship. For one thing, all-in spreads swung around wildly month to month. February, according to LPC, was

A Year in Review (Third of a Series)

“How’s your pipeline?” we asked the head of one of the leading middle market arrangers in December. He shook his head. “The quality-adjusted deal flow is down.” That distinction resonated with a number of our middle market brethren. Complaints centered around ebitda adjustments, over-liberal debt allowance baskets, and covenant-lite (or covenant-wide) structures. “High leverage per

A Year in Review (Second of a Series)

Along with the sense that mid-cap lenders can now more than hold their own against the largest investment banks in terms of deal size has come a predictable question: With all the lending capacity that’s now available in the middle market, isn’t there too much cash chasing too few deals? A long-time middle market practitioner

A Year in Review (First of a Series)

The notion that the middle market has reached a level of maturity was supported by a plethora of evidence this past year. For one thing, arrangers showed astonishing underwriting capacity by taking on a number of large-cap sponsored buyouts. Probably the most precedent-setting was Qlik Technologies. At just over $1 billion, this Ares-led unitranche represented a