Duke Street Capital Debt Management's closing of Duchess II, the second-largest leveraged loan collateralized debt obligation (CDO) to close in Europe this year, proved that despite increasingly difficult market conditions, it is still possible to raise new CDOs. But even Duke Street, whose sizeable Duchess I transaction enjoyed a solid investor base, had a much harder time structuring some of the debt tranches this time around.

Over the past 18 months, the number of new CDOs launching into the European market has tailed off significantly. Only 19 transactions originated in Europe, amounting to e3.7 billion, have launched so far this year, compared to e4.1 billion in the same period last year. Duchess II closed at e550 million, making Duke Street one of the largest CDO managers in Europe with a total of e1.55 billion under management.

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