The market material adverse change clause, or "market MAC," gives banks the ability to walk away from their obligation to syndicate or hold debt if further deterioration of the credit markets takes place. Market observers have seen a return of the once-typical clause, but they say it has yet to establish staying power.

The burger wars begin today with bids due on Wendy's and three potential buyers expected to make offers. One buyout group is led by former Carl's Jr. and Hardee's Chairman and CEO William Foley and includes buyout firms Ares Management, Oaktree Capital Management and Thomas H. Lee Partners; the second group is led by Cedar Enterprise president and Wendy's franchise owner David Karam and includes buyout firms Kelso & Co. and Oak Hill Capital Partners; and the third interested party is Nelson Peltz, who is seeking to buy Wendy's through holding company and restaurant franchise operator Triarc Companies. All either declined to comment or did not return calls and e-mails.

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