The State of Private Credit in Europe (Fourth of a Series)

Calculating private credit volume in Europe is a bit dodgy. Even in the US, good numbers have only been available in the last couple years. We can however triangulate from other known metrics.

The par amount of all leveraged loans was €15 billion in 1998, per S&P/LCD. It grew to €20 billion in 2003, €140 billion before the GFC, shrank to €100 billion by 2015, and is now at a record €240 billion. Conservatively assuming one-third is held by non-banks, that puts it just under €100 billion.

That’s consistent with Preqin data. As our Chart of the Week highlights, assets under management for European direct lending is almost $160 billion, including about $50 billion of dry powder.

By another measure of activity, Deloitte’s Deal Tracker estimated the total number of deals closed by alternative lenders in the UK since 2012 as almost 1000, with 650 in France, and 300 in Germany.

One leading European private credit arranger is Lincoln International’s Capital Advisory Group, with 30 transactions closed so far this year. To get more details on this momentum, we spoke with Lincoln managing directors, Aude Doyen, Xenia Sarri, and Dominik Spanier.