Altice’s dropdown is a warning for European creditors

Carve-out used to shield assets from lenders may occur in a fifth of European deals

A smashed piggy bank with cash around it

For European investors, media firm Altice’s brewing fight with creditors could be a sign of things to come.

In March, the French company became the first borrower in Europe to carry out a so-called liability management exercise, in which a troubled borrower moves assets beyond the reach of some of its creditors.

Altice’s controversial ‘dropdown’ transaction effectively shifted assets worth €2.3 billion ($2.5 billion) outside the scope of covenants that are meant to protect the interests of

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