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Getting The Deal Through

Global Overview

George E Zobitz and Christopher J Kelly

Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP

Thursday 22 August 2019

The US Federal Reserve continued to maintain its focus on the origination and maintenance of leveraged loans through 2018. In March 2013, the Federal Reserve, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation jointly issued the Interagency Guidance on Leveraged Lending (the Guidance). In the aftermath of the 2007/2008 global financial crisis, the Guidance was designed to curb unsafe lending practices by banks and other regulated lending entities by establishing standards for leveraged lending. In November 2014, the Guidance was supplemented and reiterated, sending a message to banks that regulators were serious about enforcing it. Among other pronouncements, the supplemented Guidance cautioned that leveraged loans that resulted in a debtor having a total debt-to-EBITDA ratio in excess of 6x or, more generally, not having the ability to repay its debts over five to seven years, would be much more likely to result in criticism by regulators.

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