Direct lending reached fever pitch in 2022, with near EUR 100bn worth of financing issued. The first quarter of 2023 has slowed materially in both absolute value and in comparison with syndicated leveraged lending, with around 150 deals making it over the line so far this year.
However, the figures alone do not do justice to the unrelenting momentum of the market and sentiment of its participants. While the syndicated market has kept up volumes this year with a wave of amend and extend transactions, direct lenders have managed to continue to deploy capital for new money M&A transactions, signifying longevity in the face of the current macroeconomic environment.
This is where direct lending thrives – in financing worthy companies with great potential and idiosyncratic needs – and has showed it can continue to do so while other debt markets are unable to keep pace.
Last week Debtwire held its annual Debtwire Direct Lending Forum, which had an exceptional turnout of 750 attendees and included fascinating discussions on the direct lending market. In case you missed it, click here to view the event on-demand and make sure to secure your spot at the event next year.
Ares has taken pole position in Debtwire’s 1Q23 direct lending rankings report for Western Europe, having conducted 14 deals and securing a 12% market share. Barings Direct Lending and CIC Private Debt placed joint second with eight deals apiece.
The ESG rankings table was topped by Ares with its 14 deals, with Eurazeo and Tikehau IM placing second and third with seven and six deals, respectively.
Apera leads the small-cap rankings table, having secured five deals so far this year. Eurazeo, Investec Private Debt, Bright Capital and Dexteritas is placing joint second with three deals each.
While the mid-market table was led by Barings Direct Lending with seven deals, second place was again shared, this time by BlackRock, Ares and CIC Private Debt.
The large-cap rankings were dominated by Ares’ nine deals, with CVC placing second and KKR Credit rounding out the podium in third.
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