Domino Effect

Image source: NatalyFox, NESSDesign - Shutterstock

What's going on?

Analysis out on Thursday showed that at least $25 billion worth of deals in Europe are at risk of collapsing.

What does this mean?

After more than a decade of willy-nilly lending, banks are suddenly becoming less willing to stump up for major mergers and acquisitions. Even the biggest banks are casting a sidelong glance at the choppy markets and slashing the value of the loans they give out, nervous that they wont be able to sell that debt on to investors like they normally would. Theyre right to be cautious: the banks that lent Clayton, Dubilier & Rice $8 billion to help buy UK supermarket chain Morrisons have struggled to pass on that debt in the form of bonds. Thats got investors worried that other deals including the mooted $6 billion-plus buyout of British drugstore chain Boots might not be able to get the financing they need.

Why should I care?

Zooming in: Plan B.
Buyers that want to go ahead with deals do have a couple of other options, mind you. The first is to fund a higher proportion of the deal by offering up stock as payment. The second is to seek out alternative ways to borrow: banks reluctance to lend has opened the door to private debt firms that have amassed more than $1 trillion to help fill the gap albeit at higher rates of interest.

For markets: Brexit strikes again.
Its not just dealmaking that the UK is struggling with: the share of British IPOs compared to those in Europe has been shrinking since the country voted for Brexit in 2016. A series of high-profile flops over the past two years certainly hasn’t helped, with the likes of Deliveroo, Wise, and THG all down more than 60% since listing. The countrys post-Brexit ambition to boost its standing as a global financial center has been going well, then.

Originally posted as part of the Finimize daily email.

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