LBO funds steer their steady course

leveraged buy-outs

Deterioration in credit quality of firms involved in European leverage buy-outs (LBO) has made credit analysis all the more important for hedge funds specialising in it, according to analysis by Standard & Poor's.

In the 18 months to the middle of 2005, says the ratings agency, LBO quality has "deteriorated significantly" according to Paul Watters, S&P's primary analyst.

"Particularly at this stage in the economic cycle, it becomes increasingly important to assess the quality and seniority of

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