Since we published the 3rd European Edition of our "High Yield Bonds – An Issuer’s Guide" in late 2013, the European high yield market has experienced a number of ups and downs, with generally high levels of activity in 2014 and the first half of 2015 followed by long periods of only sporadic or highly subdued activity in the second half of 2015 and the first half of 2016.
With September already the busiest month of the year for the European high yield market, high yield bond yields at or near record lows by historical standards and certain bond terms having become progressively more issuer-friendly over the last few years, we thought it would be a good time to launch the 4th European Edition of our Guide. Examples of the general trend of many terms having become more issuer-friendly include weaker call protection, the growing prevalence of "portability", higher flexibility for issuers to incur additional debt and/or make restricted payments (e.g. through the use of "grower baskets" or the introduction of additional baskets) and, in the case of secured bonds, increasing potential for collateral dilution.
In preparing the latest edition of our Guide, we have completely overhauled and significantly expanded the 3rd European Edition to reflect the various market trends we have observed over the past three years. Please click on the link below to view a PDF copy of the 4th European Edition of our High Yield Bonds – An Issuer’s Guide or request a hard copy here. As with earlier editions, the Guide is primarily intended for (first-time) issuers of high yield bonds. We, therefore, did not assume that users of the Guide would already have prior experience with or even a basic understanding of high yield bonds, and we have explained the relevant high yield bond concepts in simple non-technical terms, wherever possible. However, we still hope that other market participants (such as underwriting banks, law firms or other financial and legal advisers) will also find the Guide interesting and helpful.