Lenders Tighten Grip on Leveraged Loans, Demanding Stronger Protections

Lenders Tighten Grip on Leveraged Loans, Demanding Stronger Protections

Alejandra Ramirez
2 min read

Lenders Tighten Grip on Leveraged Loans, Demanding Stronger Protections

Lenders are increasing their scrutiny and imposing stricter safeguard measures on leveraged loans in response to the prevailing high interest rates. The recent $525 million financing deal of ModivCare, for instance, now incorporates provisions designed to thwart "double dip" maneuvers and other actions perceived as detrimental to creditors. This trend is apparent in both private credit and syndicated markets, where lenders are actively seeking to mitigate the risks associated with liability management transactions.

Despite a competitive deal environment, borrowers are facing limitations in manipulating existing creditors' claims to secure new financing. Notable transactions involving companies like Gray Television Inc., City Brewing Co., and Staples Inc. have augmented investor protections, surpassing the three-month average, according to Covenant Review.

This shift underscores a response to past practices labeled as "creditor-on-creditor violence," now rebranded as liability management transactions, which previously disadvantaged some lenders. The private credit market, now a $1.7 trillion force, has also experienced increased competition and scrutiny over loan terms, with lenders advocating for stronger protections.

Key Takeaways

  • Lenders are imposing stronger protections on leveraged loans due to high interest rates.
  • Recent deals include measures to prevent "double dip" and creditor-unfriendly tactics.
  • Heightened protections are evident in both private credit and syndicated markets.
  • ModivCare's $525 million financing amended to include investor protections.
  • Competition intensifies in the private credit market, with a focus on lender protections.


The push for enhanced protections by lenders in leveraged loans, driven by high interest rates and past creditor-unfriendly practices, is impacting both borrowers and financial institutions. In the short term, this is tightening credit availability and increasing borrowing costs. However, in the long term, it could contribute to stabilizing markets by reducing risky financial maneuvers. Companies such as ModivCare and Gray Television are adapting to these stricter terms, exerting influence on their peers and competitors. This trend, supported by industry experts, signifies a market shift towards more rigorous liability management and lender protection.

Did You Know?

  • Leveraged Loans:
    • Insight: Leveraged loans are high-risk, high-interest loans extended to companies with significant debt or weak financial profiles. These loans are commonly used by companies to finance acquisitions, recapitalizations, or other major expenditures. The heightened risk associated with leveraged loans leads lenders to demand stronger protections.
  • "Double Dip" Clauses:
    • Insight: "Double dip" clauses in loan agreements are formulated to prevent borrowers from using the same collateral to secure multiple loans, thereby disadvantaging one or more lenders. This tactic involves a borrower pledging assets as collateral for a new loan, which can diminish the value of collateral for existing loans, leaving some lenders with less security than initially agreed upon.
  • Liability Management Transactions:
    • Insight: Liability management transactions refer to strategies employed by companies to alter their debt profile, typically through refinancing, repurchasing, or restructuring existing debt. These transactions can sometimes disadvantage certain creditors if not managed transparently and fairly, prompting the call for stronger creditor protections in loan agreements.

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