Apollo Prices €325M European CLO

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Apollo Global Management said today it priced its first European collateralized loan obligation.

The €325 million deal, ALME Loan Funding 2013-1 is only the third European CLO issued since the financial crisis. Cairn Capital issued the first one, for €300 million, in February, followed by Pramerica Investment Management.

Analysts at JPMorgan Chase are forecasting issuance will reach between $3 billion and $5 billion this year.

Issuance of European CLOs came to a halt during the financial crisis as spreads on bonds issued by these deals ballooned, making them an uneconomical way to raise money. The introduction of a regulatory requirement for managers to retain exposure to CLOs has discouraged the formation of new structures.

At an industry conference in New York this week, Cairn portfolio manager Andrew Burke said that issuance was once again attractive because spreads on existing CLO tranches had tightened in secondary trading in sympathy with moves in the U.S. CLO market.

Apollo is among the largest CLO managers in the world and is the largest CLO manager in the U.S., with 28 deals totaling nearly $15 billion in assets. Since the beginning of 2012, the firm has priced four CLOs, raising approximately $2 billion in aggregate.

Apollo’s CLO strategy is a core part of the firm’s credit business, which had total assets under management of more than $64 billion as of December 31, 2012.

In a press release, Apollo said ALME-2013-1 further expands its presence in the European credit markets, which have been a key source of growth over the past several  years.

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