Configure is pleased to regularly share our views on a range of pertinent topics to help you stay current on market trends. We encourage you to contact us directly if you would like to discuss our perspective on the credit market environment, strategic insights or relevant experience.
Senate discussion on an arms treaty with Russia/ Soviet Union…Inflation rising at a blistering annual pace…Tourism slowed by fears about gasoline prices. Though these headlines are easily mistakable for a March 2022 edition of the Wall Street Journal, they are in fact three featured articles from the front page of the New York Times on July 27, 1979.
Bond yields for restaurant borrowers escalated rapidly in March of 2020 as fears over COVID-19 cast a chill on financial markets broadly and the leisure and hospitality sector specifically.
Despite the emergence of omicron during the holiday season, credit markets remained active throughout the fourth quarter of 2021. M&A activity closed at a similar pace experienced throughout the year, as sponsors and sellers sought to transact before the possibility of any tax changes in 2022.
As COVID drifts (somewhat) into the rearview mirror, we consider ourselves fortunate. We are fortunate to have an amazing team at Configure Partners, fortunate to have an incredibly supportive and growing group of clients, and fortunate that 2022 appears to offer a return to “normal.” While Zoom and telephone calls are better than nothing, we’ve missed getting together with you in person. We look forward to doing more of that in 2022!
Labor Day came and went without the usual end-of-summer slowdown, leaving professionals that sought a respite from the flurry of deal activity looking ahead to the holiday season. As the Pacific Northwest suffered through a major heatwave, the M&A markets were even hotter, which pushed ahead at record-setting levels.
Few could predict how far things would come 12 months after the COVID-19 recession ended in April 2020. Now recognized as the shortest recession on record, it took credit markets slightly longer to shake it off, but private debt has emerged from out of the woods at a fearless pace.
Markets followed up an extraordinary end to 2020 with another strong quarter to kick off 2021. M&A activity led the way for sponsor-backed deals. All told, the market remains in borrowers’ favor, with limited signs of pushback from eager investors.
The retail industry has been in flux for the last several years as consumers continue to shift their purchases online. This trend clearly accelerated during 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Pace of credit issuance surged from 0 to 60 in a matter of weeks, driven in large part by frenzied M&A activity. A combination of factors contributed to record levels of M&A activity in 2020’s final three months, including relaunching of delayed sell-side processes, sponsors eager to deploy dry powder, and founder/ owners seeking to equitize in anticipation of potential tax code changes. All told, Q4 2020 produced the highest quarterly M&A value since Q4 2015.
2020 was a year like no other, dominated by the chaos inflicted by COVID-19. At Configure, we consider ourselves fortunate to have the opportunity to grow stronger through the turmoil. Our clients remained active, and many turned to us for help through COVID-driven distress. Others looked to Configure for assistance in financing new acquisitions in the midst of the turmoil.
Momentum in credit issuance has picked up as financial markets have stabilized, and both borrowers and lenders have adjusted to a new normal in the pandemic age. This adjustment was evident between the “tale of two quarters” experienced before and after Labor Day, as borrower cautiousness in seeking capital at the beginning of the quarter eventually gave way to the typical rush to complete deals by year-end.
The coronavirus pandemic froze activity until a surge of government stimulus and rising confidence began to thaw middle-market issuance. Contrary to the pre-COVID supply/demand imbalance in favor of sponsors and borrowers, the crisis has turned the tables and is testing relationships between borrowers and lenders.
In just weeks, management teams at many Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers have developed extensive contingency plans to cope with COVID-19 positive employees. Most now consider themselves well-prepared.
Borrowers should approach negotiations with their lenders with both a defined request and plan of action in order to reach a mutual agreement and ensure ongoing partnership.
Partnering with Configure enables clients to focus on their strategic and operational goals, while entrusting us to deliver a tailored credit solution.
Term Loan agent, underwriter and lead syndication agent for split lien credit facility
Advised the Company in a sale of substantially all of its assets pursuant to Section 363 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code
Term Loan agent and revolver participant in bridge loan facility
Advised the Company on a sale of substantially all of its e-commerce assets pursuant to Section 363 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code
Investment Banker to the Company in a Chapter 11 Restructuring
Sole Lead Arranger for asset-based credit facility and sale leaseback
Advised the Company on a restructuring that included two sale-leaseback transactions and a sale of the Company
Sole Lead Arranger of credit facilities to support a recapitalization