BlackRock Getting in On Ground Floor of Bond Deals (Fortune)

Asset manager works with issuers and underwriters as deals are structured.

In a departure from the way corporate bond deals usually work, asset manager BlackRock is getting involved in deals from the start, according to Fortune. For example, when Zayo Group sought to issue high-yield bonds this year, BlackRock worked with the Colorado company and its banks as the deal was structured, letting them know the kind of covenants and safeguards it wanted. In return, BlackRock bought from 12% to 20% of each of the deal’s tranches directly from Zayo, which is a bigger portion of the offering than it would usually take.

BlackRock gets an investment it has vetted closely—BlackRock’s head of global trading, Richie Prager, tells Fortune that the mortgage-backed bond debacle demonstrated the dangers in "eating Wall Street’s cooking." The company gets a buyer for a big chunk of its issue, and the underwriter gets to cite BlackRock’s involvement when it talks up the deal to others. BlackRock has worked on more than 100 such deals since 2010 in the U.S. and Europe, and hopes to expand to Asia next year.


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