The proverbial “Dry January” was not entirely dry in the U.S. leveraged loan market where market participants remain thirsty for opportunities to deploy available capital. While lackluster, activity in the U.S. leveraged loan market in the fourth quarter of 2022 and January 2023 was bolstered by a strong private credit market and record-breaking amend-and-extend activity. We expect the first half of 2023 to continue these trends, with concentrations on: (a) continued growth in the private credit markets and alternative financing structures, including preferred equity financings, (b) amend-and-extend activity to continue pushing out maturities in 2023 and 2024 and (c) transitioning interest rate benchmarks away from LIBOR in existing leveraged loans. There are also signs that the syndicated leveraged loan market is beginning to re-open following the pricing in early February of syndicated term loans backing two large buyout transactions, contributing to an overall sentiment of guarded optimism for at least the first half of 2023.

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