Bankers tap direct lenders on tough deals

LONDON, April 18 (LPC) – Leveraged loan bankers are approaching direct lenders in a bid to sell down difficult deals as the distinction between syndicators and private money narrows. Banks have approached a number of direct lenders on a €300m term loan backing Platinum Equity’s acquisition of a majority stake in Spain’s frozen fish producer Iberconsa after failing to attract interest from CLOs and credit funds – the typical buyers of syndicated leveraged loans – during a pre-marketing process. The loan was underwritten by Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Santander, alongside Morgan Stanley. It has proven a hard sell given the sector and the jurisdictions Iberconsa has exposures to, including Argentina, Namibia and South Africa. Platinum was not immediately available to comment. “Platinum is BAML’s ‘special sponsor’ so they’ve done them a big favour doing Iberconsa as it isn’t an easy sell and not one for the syndicated loan market,” a banker said. An investor said: “Due to the risk of the underlying commodity (fish) and price volatility it was declined. It is hard as sales are in euros to Spanish suppliers and costs are in dollars for the workforce. The fishing rights are in Argentina and Namibia and… continue reading

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