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The Private Debt Deal Tracker Spring 2024

Private debt activity bounces back in Q4 at the prospect of softer interest rates


This issue of the Private Debt Deal Tracker covers data for the second half of 2023 and includes 330 new private debt deals. This represents a 25% increase in activity from H1 2023, however, when annualised, reflects a 20% decrease in activity compared to 2022.

Key highlights:

  • In January 2024, most economic indicators were flashing green, but if the latter half of 2023 is anything to go by, it is hard to say whether January’s gains are truly indicative of an improving economy.
  • Geopolitics remain a key driver of the current unpredictability of the global economy, with continued tension between the US and China, ongoing conflict in Ukraine and the Middle East, and a series of national elections in 2024, all offering multiple opportunities to derail January’s good news.
  • 2023 was a challenging year for the non-bank lending market and borrowers of its capital. Deal count was just shy of 600, down 20% from 2022, and 50% of those with a reported leverage were struck below 4x (by contrast, leverage above 4x accounted for 62% of deals in 2022).
  • However, there is reason for optimism, given deal volumes increased by 34% from Q3 to Q4, resulting in 330 deals being completed in H2 vs. 263 in H1 (+25%). Secondly, 33% of deal activity related to leveraged buyouts—down from 40-45% (based on recent averages) but still reflective of almost 200 LBOs in Europe.
  • The interest of alternative lenders in the Benelux market remained resilient in 2023, with a total of 62 deals completed, of which 36 in the first half and 26 in the second half of the year.
  • M&A remains the key driver for private debt deals in the Benelux (76%), gaining importance compared to 2021 (61%). This is slightly higher than the levels in the UK and the rest of Europe where 70% of transactions were M&A related.
  • Half of the deals in the Benelux region in 2023 were structured as Unitranche. This is lower compared to the UK (67%), but in line with the rest of Europe (49%).

Previous editions

Spring 2023

Autumn 2023

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