Markets

S&P Says $96.6 Billion of Junk Debt Hit by Turmoil

Reuters
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Forty-nine high-yield loan and bond deals worth 70 billion euros ($96.6 billion) have been affected by the credit market turmoil since mid-June, rating agency Standard & Poor's said on Tuesday.

The deals – 59% of which were rated in the B category and 16% in the BB category -- have either been cancelled, put on hold, reduced in size, or had their pricing or structure changed, the ratings agency said in a report. 

By contrast, only 17 deals worth 7 billion euros were launched and completed successfully in the period, S&P said.

"The ongoing repricing of risk has completely shifted the supply and demand balance in the market, transferring the power from issuers to investors," S&P said.

"It is likely that deals will be structured more conservatively than during the first half of the year. 'Covenant-lite' transactions have certainly fallen by the wayside," the agency said.

Bank have been left holding hundreds of billions of dollars globally of unsyndicated leveraged loans as investors have shunned risk as the fallout from the U.S. subprime mortgage crisis has spread.

Among the most prominent deals in Europe to have been hit is the 9 billion pounds ($18.3 billion) of debt backing the leveraged buyout of Alliance Boots, Europe's biggest ever private equity deal.

The banks arranging the debt were forced to put syndication on hold in July due to market conditions.