Last year was definitely a year of two halves for the leveraged finance market as it went from boom to bust. In the first half of the year, Credit Suisse was able to play a part in many of the year’s benchmark deals such as the €7.9bn debt package for ProSiebenSat.1, which created a new pan-European broadcaster and was one of the most complex transactions of the year. The deal was backed by Permira and KKR and as well as being the largest successfully syndicated LBO financing in Europe this year, also broke a number of other European records, being the largest European OpCo/Holdco financing and largest German sponsor-driven transaction completed to date.
Other notable deals included Apollo Management’s buyout of Countrywide with a £640m debt package where the bank helped bring the largest sterling high-yield deal and first European toggle note.
The bank’s innovation and consistency in execution meant that as well as bringing debut issuers to the market, Credit Suisse held one of the strongest records for repeat issuance in the market. This was evident in both leveraged loans and high yield bonds with a range of borrowers including Amadeus, Codere, Eircom and Grohe all coming to Credit Suisse for repeat business.
And when liquidity dried up over the summer, Credit Suisse was one of the few players which held its nerve and kept the market working with innovative deals. Key among these was a bookbuilding exercise to syndicate the second-lien and mezzanine tranches backing the €780m secondary buyout of French undertakers OGF.