The rarely spoken secret about the shift away from the U.S. dollar version of LIBOR is that, since banks are no longer the only firms brokering new deals like leveraged loans, LIBOR technically can stay alive.

But some of the biggest private-credit players—who roam outside regulators' purview on the LIBOR transition—are nonetheless falling in line, issuing new deals tied to the leading U.S. replacement, the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR).

It's a sign that regulators largely succeeded in snuffing out LIBOR for new debt offerings after December 31, 2021, a decade after banks were found to have rigged it.

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