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Syndicated Lending by Andrew Fight

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Chapter 7

Loan covenants

The function of loan covenants

Covenants are undertakings given by a borrower as part of a term loan agreement. Their purpose is to help the lender ensure that the risk attached to the loan does not unexpectedly deteriorate prior to maturity. Covenants may, for example, place restrictions on merger activity or on gearing levels. Breach of a covenant normally constitutes an event of default and, as a result, the loan may become repayable upon demand.

From the borrower’s point of view covenants often appear to be an obstacle at the time of negotiating a loan and a burdensome restriction during its term. As mentioned, they may also precipitate default. In order to negotiate an appropriate set of covenants, however, it is important ...

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