M&A: papering over loan market cracks

M&A volumes across the EMEA region have soared to multi-year highs according to various reports released this week, and loan volumes in certain regions have rocketed with it. But the big headline figures belie a syndicated loan market that is limping towards year end.

  • By Mike Turner
  • 19 Jul 2018
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The sexy side of corporate finance has been on a tear, with Moody’s saying this week that 2017’s M&A market in EMEA was the busiest in almost a decade.

Big buyouts bring big debt financings. Sterling loan signings had their busiest quarter in at least five years in the months up to July, fueled by company shopping sprees. This will likely continue with Comcast’s £25.9bn debt funded swoop on media company Sky. 

But away from the multibillion pound headlines, swathes of loans bankers are no busier than usual. Secretive M&A activity is on a strict need to know basis, and most banks are finding that they rarely need to know. Bank of America Merrill Lynch, JP Morgan and Wells Fargo are providing the debt for the Comcast loan, and lenders away from the deal are half resigned to not seeing much of it in syndication given how bond markets remain a strong, quick and easy route to refinance bridge facilities. 

Many heads of loans complained about overall volumes dropping by more than 20% in the first half of the year. It doesn’t look like the rest of 2018 will do much to change that for most, no matter how eye-popping the M&A activity.


  • By Mike Turner
  • 19 Jul 2018

All International Bonds

Rank Lead Manager Amount $m No of issues Share %
  • Last updated
  • Today
1 Citi 302,654.45 1175 8.04%
2 JPMorgan 295,926.30 1292 7.86%
3 Bank of America Merrill Lynch 277,651.59 935 7.38%
4 Barclays 229,979.10 854 6.11%
5 Goldman Sachs 205,171.65 674 5.45%

Bookrunners of All Syndicated Loans EMEA

Rank Lead Manager Amount $m No of issues Share %
  • Last updated
  • Today
1 BNP Paribas 43,227.81 174 7.06%
2 JPMorgan 38,825.76 78 6.34%
3 Credit Agricole CIB 33,071.14 158 5.40%
4 UniCredit 32,366.25 145 5.29%
5 SG Corporate & Investment Banking 31,330.98 120 5.12%

Bookrunners of all EMEA ECM Issuance

Rank Lead Manager Amount $m No of issues Share %
  • Last updated
  • Today
1 JPMorgan 13,024.03 55 8.96%
2 Goldman Sachs 12,162.67 59 8.37%
3 Citi 9,451.48 53 6.50%
4 Morgan Stanley 8,054.41 48 5.54%
5 UBS 7,829.15 30 5.38%