NLC Fund Finance Market Report – Q1 2024

In our Q1 2024 market update, the NLC team highlights the latest trends and shifts in the Fund Finance market, navigating through macroeconomic changes and evolving financial landscapes.

Macroeconomic Impact

Inflation remains above target in both the US and Eurozone, with potential interest rate cuts by the Fed and ECB on the horizon. However, uncertainty prevails, keeping swap rates high and impacting company valuations, M&A activity, and fund finance demand.

M&A Activity and Fund Utilization

M&A activity in the buyout market remains low, but buyout fund purchases funded by subscription lines have kept utilization rates steady. Additionally, funds are increasingly using NAV loans and extending subscription lines beyond investment periods to manage the slowdown.

Fundraising Trends

Q1 2024 saw a 37% drop in new private equity fund raisings, driven mainly by a decline in the US. Despite fewer new funds, larger fund sizes indicate sustained investor interest in established managers, leading to softer demand for new subscription line facilities.

Market Summary and Pricing

The subscription line market experienced tightening spreads, with European deals clearing at margins as low as 200bps and US deals pricing 35-50bps wider. Increased competition for refinancing existing lines, especially in Europe, reflects the market’s balanced demand and supply.

Alternative Financing Solutions

NAV financing remains uncertain, but interest in mezzanine and second lien subscription lines is growing as GPs seek innovative, cost-effective solutions. These alternatives offer higher advance rates and simpler structures compared to low LTV NAV loans.

Looking Ahead

The Fund Finance market is poised for further innovation and strategic partnerships as it adapts to regulatory changes and the rise of non-bank lenders. These developments will continue to reshape the market landscape.

Explore our detailed Q1 2024 market update report. Your feedback and engagement are essential as we navigate this dynamic market together.

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