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2021 in review

The leveraged finance market in 2021 saw record-breaking levels of activity, mainly driven by private equity M&A and LBOs, comprised mainly of opportunistic deals or ones which had previously been put on hold.

Trend highlights include:

  • The use of sustainability-linked instruments became widespread throughout the markets with an increase of almost 50% annually over the past decade
  • Sharp increase in high yield bond and Term Loan B borrowings in first two-quarters of 2021 Investor fatigue, broader market volatility and omicron variant slightly reduced transaction level in Q3 and Q4
  • Economies weathered the storm and equity markets saw record-breaking growth
  • Capital structures under strain were able to turn to alternative or more bespoke sources of funding
  • Fierce market competition is driven by US and European investors’ appetite
  • Borrower-friendly trends arose in the form of COVID-19-related adjustments
  • Record year for special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) IPOs

Ten predictions to shape 2022

Find out how the EMEA leveraged finance market will respond to the continuing COVID-19 challenges and opportunities, the volatility of emerging markets and the continued focus on ESG factors.

You’ll also find predictions on direct lending, the impact of new Fintech options, the effect of rising interest rates and more.


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Rob Mathews is a partner in the Firm's Capital Markets Group. Rob's clients benefit from his significant experience in multinational corporate and finance transactions, notably high-yield debt offerings. Clients comment that "Rob is a high yield guru – you know you can rely on his technical advice and market knowledge." (Chambers UK, 2019) and that he is "client-focused, solution-oriented and commercial; he has many years of experience as is able to advise on any issue." (Legal 500, 2019)


Adam Farlow heads the Firm's Capital Markets practice in Europe, Middle East and Africa. He is a New York and English qualified partner based in London. He has extensive experience in US securities laws and transaction management. He has been elected as a Life Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and serves on the Council of the American Bar Association Section of International Law.

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