Thu. Jun 1st, 2023

what is leveraged finance

What is Leveraged Finance?

Leveraged finance is a term used to describe financial strategies that utilize large amounts of debt in order to finance strategic corporate actions. This includes acquisitions, share repurchases, recapitalizations and capital expenditures.

These loans are primarily made by banks or other financial institutions to non-investment grade borrowers. They typically have terms ranging from 5 to 7 years and are secured by assets such as real estate, equipment or intellectual property.


Leveraged finance is a form of debt financing that is used to increase the amount of profit a company can generate. It can be used to fund mergers and acquisitions (M&A), buy-outs, and other types of investments. It is also used to refinance existing loans and to pay dividends or acquire shares.

It is a type of loan that is backed by assets. The borrower is required to provide security for the loan, such as a mortgage on real estate. In addition, leveraged loans typically have a higher interest rate than conventional bank loans.

In the US, the leveraged loan market is estimated to have nearly $1.4 trillion in outstanding assets as of August 2022. It is almost as large as the high-yield bond market.

A leveraged loan is a type of debt that is made to a company that has a low credit rating. This type of loan can help a company acquire new property or expand its operations.

The amount of leverage in a company’s capital structure is important because it can affect the risks a company faces. For example, a corporation that borrows too much money might face bankruptcy or default during a business downturn. On the other hand, a less-leveraged corporation may survive and even grow during a crisis.

There are two main kinds of leveraged financing facilities: term loans and revolving credit facilities. Term loans are disbursed at origination and repaid over time, while revolving credit facilities can be drawn upon repeatedly. Term loans are typically originated and held by banks, while revolving credit facilities are typically provided by non-bank institutions such as insurance companies or asset managers.

Since the 2008 financial crisis, the leveraged loan market has grown and is now the second largest in the world after the high-yield bond market. These leveraged financing products are offered to private equity firms, corporations and other investors.

As a leveraged finance professional, you would likely work with a team to help clients raise debt capital by syndicating loans and underwriting bond offerings for use in LBOs, M&A, debt refinancing and recapitalizations. This can involve helping a client prepare financial statements, preparing a Sources & Uses schedule, completing a capitalization table, and assisting with post-deal credit stats and ratios.

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You would also produce a number of memos related to your client’s transactions. These memos generally provide a narrative for the transaction and contain information such as the client’s industry, growth prospects, operating metrics and credit statistics and ratios.

In some cases, you might also write up a prospectus or other documents for a debt offering. These documents will be used by your sales team to pitch the transaction to institutional investors.

The leveraged loan market is a small but important part of the financial system. It is not as big as the residential mortgage or fixed income markets, but it plays a critical role in providing access to financing for many businesses.


Leveraged finance is a type of financing that involves the use of debt to invest in an asset that will generate profits. This type of financing can be used for acquisitions, debt refinancing, or a leveraged buyout.

Typically, leveraged finance is used for larger transactions that require more debt than is considered normal for the company or industry. It is a good investment strategy that can support business growth and increase returns, but it may also result in losses for borrowers.

There are several different types of leveraged finance, including speculative-grade debt, high-yield bonds and bank loans. All are used in leveraged financing, but they are geared toward a different set of investors.

In general, speculative-grade debt is rated lower than investment-grade debt because it has higher default risk. This is because the speculative-grade debt is issued by highly leveraged companies and thus has a higher risk profile.

The creditworthiness of the issuer is also a factor in the market. Investors who prefer to own debt from a company that has a strong reputation for financial performance are willing to pay a higher price than those who buy from a weaker-credit issuer.

A company can raise capital from various sources, such as banks, investment funds, private equity firms, venture capital firms and money-market mutual fund investors. It can also be raised from the stock markets by selling shares to a large number of investors.

Depending on the type of loan, the interest rate can range from zero to 30 percent per year. Usually, the coupon is floating, and it contains maintenance covenants that must be adhered to by the borrower.

In addition, a borrower will generally need to provide collateral to secure its loans. This will help to protect the lender if the borrower defaults.

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Another important aspect of the loan market is that it is a highly syndicated market, with a wide variety of investors. This means that the arranger must make a lot of effort to get the deal done and close it quickly.

The arranger must also understand the nuances of each type of loan to ensure that it is priced and rolled correctly. This is especially true for sponsor-backed loans, which are largely backed by a private equity firm.

Many of these sponsors have a good relationship with their network of lenders. This makes a loan easier to syndicate and cheaper to purchase, since the syndicators will have a better chance of clearing the loan in the marketplace.

In syndication, the arranger can often flex a loan’s pricing to attract more issuers or investor cash, or vice versa. This pricing flexibility is called a price flex and it can be a sign of a hot leveraged loan market.

In the past few years, arrangers have been able to leverage their expertise and experience by using technology to improve the process. The technology allows them to track loan data faster, which helps to reduce the amount of time that it takes for an arranger to finish a loan. They can also create customized reports and alerts for clients that will allow them to monitor their loan portfolio. This saves them time and money, as they can focus on other matters.


Leveraged finance is a type of financing that allows companies to use debt to acquire assets or fund projects. It can be a good way for businesses to increase their profits, but it also comes with a number of risks.

The primary advantage of leveraged finance is that it provides a more flexible way to access capital than traditional equity funding. It’s ideal for business owners who have special circumstances that require extra upfront capital to support growth objectives.

Unlike other forms of financing, which can take months or even years to complete, leveraged debt offers a more immediate source of cash. This is particularly helpful in the short term, where you may need to make quick capital expenditures such as acquiring new property or expanding your operation.

However, this is only a temporary solution and needs to be carefully managed. You must be able to repay your debt and maintain a strong credit history to ensure that you can get the most out of this financing option.

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Another advantage of leveraged finance is that it can help you increase the overall equity value of your company. Whether you are raising money for a major acquisition, investing in an expansion project or buying shares, it can help you secure more favorable equity valuations than you would have been able to achieve with traditional capital.

A company that utilizes financial leverage can also increase its earnings as a percentage of its total assets. This is due to the fact that interest expense is tax deductible in many jurisdictions.

In addition, the interest earned on leveraged debt is also higher than the interest paid on non-leveraged debt. This can significantly boost a company’s operating profit, thus increasing its stockholder earnings.

Unfortunately, this can also mean that a company is more susceptible to decreases in its stockholder earnings as its operating profit declines. This is because financial leverage increases a company’s fixed costs, and these cost can be difficult for companies to cover during periods of economic downturns.

It is therefore important to use the right amount of leverage in order to achieve its goals. Otherwise, it can be a costly and risky strategy that can leave a company with a large debt burden.

When using leveraged finance, you should be sure that the assets will earn enough to pay back the debt and that the value of the asset will not fall. If this is not the case, the debt will become a liability and your investment may be lost.

The best leveraged financing strategy is one that allows you to raise the amount of debt necessary to achieve your specific growth objective, while ensuring you can repay it. The experts at Links Financial can help you evaluate the amount of leverage needed to achieve your objectives, and provide you with a plan that minimizes risks.

Jeffrey Augers
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By Jeffrey Augers

Jeffrey Augers is a highly skilled and experienced financial analyst with over 12 years of experience in the finance industry. He has a proven track record of delivering exceptional financial insights and recommendations to clients, empowering them to make informed decisions and achieve their financial goals. Jeffrey holds a Bachelor's degree in Finance from the University of Michigan, and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business.