COMPANIES in the UK and Europe are increasingly securing debt from alternative lenders, as they look for greater flexibility than traditional bank loans, according to new research released today.
Alternative lenders made 56 deals in the UK and Europe in the final quarter of last year, compared to 18 in the first quarter, said a new report by Deloitte. For the first time more than half of those deals relate to companies in continental Europe, rather than the UK. "The next six months point to a strong 2014 in Europe for the alternative lending sector," said Fenton Burgin, head of UK debt advisory at Deloitte. "As the UK becomes a more competitive market place, US funders based in London are looking at Europe to buy debt and deploy excess liquidity from shareholders."
In the last quarter of the year, UK companies such as Caffe Nero, Doc Martens and Phase Eight all used alternative lenders to obtain debt of up to £300m. "Alternative lenders' bespoke structures and greater flexibility provide an attractive option to traditional leveraged bank lending," said Burgin.