As a result of the recent COVID-19 health crisis and related market volatility, an increasing number of bank loans and high yield bonds are trading below par. These current market conditions present attractive de-levering opportunities for leveraged companies able to buy back their own debt, as well as sponsors seeking to purchase debt of their portfolio companies. Indeed, debt buybacks can allow financial sponsors to put money to work where deal flow is otherwise reduced and increase returns with limited additional due diligence. While debt buybacks are not new, many of the structural issues that made them more difficult in the 2008 financial crisis have since been cured with better credit documentation specifically addressing the requirements for a debt buyback. Still, there are a number of issues to be addressed, both with respect to reviewing the terms of the specific credit agreement or indenture, but also with respect to tax issues.

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