Credit Spreads in the Market for Highly Leveraged Transaction Loans
52 Pages Posted: 11 Nov 2008
Date Written: November 1995
This paper is an empirical exploration of the determinants of the required credit spreads on highly leveraged transaction (HLT) loans. The analysis uses a multi-factor spread model to estimate the movement of loan spreads relative to spreads required in the (competing) corporate bond market as well as the significance of loan-specific characteristics in determining loan spreads. The empirical estimates are based on the Loan Pricing Corporation s database which consists of over 4000 loan transactions between 1987-1994. We find a positive HLT loan spread sensitivity to changes in spreads in the corporate bond market, but this sensitivity is significantly less than unity; indicating that the HLT loan market and high yield public debt market are not fully integrated. Furthermore, there is evidence that lenders augment, rather than substitute, loan yield spreads with additional fees for syndication, commitment and cancellation risks. In general syndicated loans have lower yield spreads than other HLT loan types.
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