Lenders warming to China holdco buyouts

Asian lenders are becoming more comfortable with Chinese companies tapping the loan market through holdcos but remain cautious towards their Indian counterparts.

Asia’s leveraged buyout market remains a drop in the ocean compared with the US but there are signs that it is developing as lenders become more comfortable with Chinese borrowers tapping the market through offshore holding companies.

Such structures make it challenging for lenders to seize onshore assets in the event of a default. However recent deals such as Focus Media's $1.7 billion leverage buyout, which closed last year and is China's largest-ever LBO, suggest a suggest a growing acceptance of such structures.

Focus Media had a large initial underwriting group and also completed a dividend recapitalisation six months after the close of the...

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