European leveraged loan issuance – usually defined as a loan yielding more than Libor+125bp – is rallying after a poor 2002. The first three quarters of 2003 saw €39.7bn of issuance from 98 deals, nearly eclipsing 2002’s overall total of €40bn from 101 issues.
The growth coincides with an expansion of the market’s investor base. Once the preserve of banks, more and more institutional players are buying leveraged loans, or structured finance products that contain them. Of the €40 billion of le