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Debtor-in-Possession Financing Rises

Leveraged loans for restructuring companies are on the rise.

Big banks are doing a booming business providing loans for distressed companies. The global volume of debtor-in-possession financing reached $25.2 billion for the 12 months ended April 15, up from $4.4 billion a year earlier, according to research firm Dealogic. Much of the growth can be attributed to the $8 billion DIP deal for Lyondell Chemical Co., which was priced in January. As demand for DIP financing has increased, so has the average price, which is now 717 basis points above LIBOR, up from 500 basis points last year. And companies in bankruptcy had better get their finances in order quickly. The average maturity for DIP loans issued in 2009 is 0.79 of a year, less than half the 1.70 years for loans in 2008, reflecting the increased use of DIP funds to liquidate companies. All of the top 20 deals involved U.S. companies that tapped the high-yield loan market.

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