Our assertion that disruption is the new economic driver couldn’t have been more vividly reflected in the events of 2022 to date. Following the extraordinary period where the pandemic dominated global headlines and largely dictated market activity, 2022 has been characterised by the persistent period of conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
The macroeconomic impact of Russia’s invasion has been monumental, catalysing a surge in inflation across Europe, interest rate rises in response, and driving the consensus that recessionary times may lie ahead for most European regions. Exacerbating this in the UK and adding to uncertainty for H2 2022, GBP has tumbled following the large fiscal stimulus package announced last week. As lenders reassess their portfolios to identify and mitigate any risk they uncover, a period of restructuring also appears to be looming large on the horizon as companies strive to survive this perfect storm.
The latest edition of AlixPartners' bi-annual Mid-Market Debt Report covers more than 75 bank and non-bank lenders active in the UK and European mid-market (debt transactions valued up to €300 million).
AT A GLANCE:
- Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, debt markets rapidly drew back, with M&A deals derailed as a result. This has been illustrated by falling deal activity throughout the first half of 2022, and new issuance leveraged finance well below H2 2021 levels during the same period.
- As rates of inflation – exacerbated by the ongoing conflict in Ukraine – continued to surge, banking systems around the world responded with a series of interest rate rises – 0.5% by the ECB in July (its first rise for more than a decade) and a further 0.75% in September, while seven individual hikes by the Bank of England have driven the base rate from 0.1% in December to 2.25% from the start of October.
- Inflation continues to present a significant risk for consumer-facing businesses who will likely see demand levels fall as consumers’ discretionary spend is eroded. Despite recent government intervention around energy prices, businesses in all industries continue to contend with input cost pressures.
- In Q1 2022, CVLs hit the highest quarterly levels since 1960, and insolvencies in the UK were up materially vs 2021’s figure. This trend has continued, with corporate insolvencies now rising above pre-COVID levels, albeit still with fewer administration appointments and broader restructurings.
Read the full report below