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European Senior Loan Recovery Rates Are Strong, S&P Says

Recovery rates in the European senior loan market have been strong and in line with those of the more mature U.S. market, according to Standard & Poor’s.

A study found the European first-lien debt had a 76 percent average recovery rate when 101 defaults between 2003 and 2010 were evaluated, S&P analysts led by David Gillmor wrote in a report. That compares with a mean recovery rate of 84 percent for U.S. loan facilities between 1987 and 2011, according to the report.

Junk bonds and other European senior unsecured debt recovered 48 percent over the survey period, compared with a 52 percent rate for speculative-grade notes in the U.S., S&P said. Second-lien debt, which ranks below senior debt in capital structures, recovered an average of 31 percent and the most-subordinated mezzanine loans recovered 30 percent.

Publically rated companies had a lower average first-lien recovery rate than those with private credit estimates, recovering a mean of 62 percent and 79 percent respectively, S&P said.

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