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Balance Point Capital adds hire, Nathan Elliott, for middle-market deal execution

balanceBalance Point Capital Partners hired Nathan Elliott for underwriting and execution of debt financing to middle-market companies.

He joins the Westport, Conn.-based company as a vice president. He will report to managing partner Seth Alvord and partner Justin Kaplan.

Previously, he was a vice president at Jefferies Finance, where he was responsible for due diligence and underwriting of loans and bridge financings for sponsor-led buyouts. Prior to that, he worked at GE Capital.

Balance Point Capital Partners invests mezzanine and equity capital into U.S. lower-middle-market companies generating revenue of $10-150 million, and EBITDA of at least $2 million.

Among the firm’s investments are game and toymaker Patch Products; New Jersey-based regional dental-management company Brighter Dental Care; Sacramento, Calif.-based security-alarm-monitoring company GHS Interactive Security; and radio broadcasters Digity Media and Connoisseur Media. – Abby Latour

Follow Abby on Twitter @abbynyhk for middle-market deals, leveraged M&A, distressed debt, private equity, and more

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Leveraged Loans: US braces for risk retention as volatility hits – CLOs

CLO roundup 2014-10-20 chart 1

Broader market volatility gave the CLO market cause for concern last week with widening liability spreads threatening to disrupt the new-issue pipeline over the coming weeks. Still, for others, the sharp drop in loan prices created opportunity, with one of last week’s transactions widely rumoured to be a print and sprint. This week should again be eventful with two industry conferences and the anticipated release of the U.S. risk retention rules.

Against this backdrop, U.S. CLO new-issue volume in the year-to-date rose to $101.01 billion by the end of the week, from 187 deals, according to LCD. During the same period a year ago the market had issued $61.42 billion from 127 CLOs. – Staff Reports

For more news, analysis, and data on the leveraged loan market and CLO segment check out or Loan Market Primer.

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Shenkman Capital Management launches first institutional loan mutual fund

shenkman_logoShenkman Capital Management today announced the launch of the Shenkman Floating Rate High Income Fund (SFHIX).

Shenkman said its existing clients were the primary source of capital for the institutional loan mutual fund, which launched with about $160 million in assets.

This is Shenkman’s second branded U.S. mutual fund. The other is the Shenkman Short Duration High Income Fund, which invests in high-yield bonds.

In addition to the new loan mutual fund, Shenkman also manages loan assets in a combination of separate accounts, private funds, and CLOs.

In the CLO market, Shenkman has priced two deals this year: its $552.5 million Adams Mill CLO via Nomura in July, and its $520.6 million Washington Mill deal via Bank of America Merrill Lynch in April. – Kerry Kantin

 

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Market Reset: Is this the new normal for leveraged loans?

Amid softening technical conditions and the risk-off theme that has dominated capital markets lately, loan yields have climbed 50-75 bps over the past month, with prices on loans falling markedly, as evidenced by the secondary bid distribution chart.

loan bids by range

Does the softer market represent a new normal for leveraged loans?

The outlook, as always, is in the eye of the beholder. In recent days, stability in the equity markets has allowed loan prices to find a bottom. That said, participants suggest the bias for the time being may be negative. Here’s why:

  • Loan fund flows: managers expect outflows to persist, what with rates falling in recent weeks. That will put more supply in the system as managers sell loans to meet redemptions.
  • Relative-value players: HY funds also remain net sellers of loans, participants say, further pressuring prices.
  • CLOs: The pace of prints remained robust in early October with managers inking $6.5 billion through the 16th, pushing year-to-date issuance to a record $99.9 billion. Still, players expect the number of new deals to fall significantly until conditions improve. That may drain liquidity from the system in the months ahead.
  • Supply: while off the post-credit-crunch highs of August, there remains $33.7 billion on the M&A forward calendar, much of which will hit the market over the final months of 2014. Given today’s flagging loan demand, placing this paper may be challenging.

 

This analysis is part of a more detailed LCD News story, available to subscribers here. – Steve Miller

Follow Steve on Twitter for an early look at LCD analysis, plus market commentary.