Bank of America Bridge Loan

Bridge loan from Bank of America

U.S. loan house: Bank-of-America Merrill Lynch | All special reports

Bank of America Merrill Lynch could be trusted in 2013 with everything from equity to support a huge purchase, funding for a vintage car customer, buying expertise and financial advisory. BofA Merrill is IFR's US Loan House of the Year because of its creativeness, fire power, market potential, abundance of wallets and intelligent transaction.

Dissapointed with the number of M&A dealings in 2013, it still generated several striking dealings that defined the markets anew. The Bank of America Merrill Lynch has been involved in many, if not all, of these operations, building on its position as the leading credit bank in North America. These are all important things," said Peter Hall, BofA Merrill's GM loan director.

Thomson Reuters said the bank was the dominant lending bank in the U.S., ranked second in the U.S. investor credit rankings from November 16, 2012 to November 15, 2013 with a 19% stake in the U.S. credit markets and led the U.S. gearing booksrunner chart with a 15% stake in the U.S. gearing markets.

BofA Merrill has performed particularly well in 13 M&A deals on the same 12-month horizon where acquisitions have been financed on the US markets or where it acted as joint-lead arranger. "Our belief is that we are the premier and most powerful mutual fund originator in terms of providing mutual funds for acquisitions in the mutual fund industry," Hall said.

Merrill was one of the four survivors of the $61 billion 364-day Verizon Communications Bridge Loan, which won the US Loan Award recognition from the IRS. In addition, the Bank granted USD 5.5 billion in long-term borrowings for Amgen, amounting to over USD 8 billion, although prices were taken into account at the narrow end and there was no immediate borrowing economy, not to speak of a USD 12 billion loan to Verizon the following weekend.

It was also the exclusive lead arranger for a C$3.5 billion loan supporting the Loblaw Companies' takeover of shopper Drug Mart, the biggest ever long loan ever granted in Canada dollars. BofA Merrill spearheaded many of the highly anticipated acquisitions of the year on the leverage side, including computer manufacturer Dell, Activision Blizzard computer programming solutions, game and raffle technologies Scientific Games, and the Saks retail group.

The BofA Merrill consortium's $9 billion loan finance for Dell's buy-out by Michael Dell and Silver Lake Partners - winners of the US Leveraged Loan Award - demonstrated the bank's creative and informed approach to the building markets. Expecting to see an end to strong asset buying in September given the strong offer - a $6 billion new asset deal by Hilton Worldwide started less than a week after Dell's banking session - BofA Merrill suggested the addition of a $1.5 billion three-year installment to satisfy investor demands from CLOs.

Click here to view the full IFR Americas Review of the Year issue in full download. Soon after the price of Dell, BofA Merrill launches a $2.3 billion loan to support the acquisition of Saks by the Toronto-based Hudson's Bay Company retail chain. In October, during the October Syndication, Saks raised the proportion of bank liabilities by USD 400 million instead of an originally suggested USD 400 million offer of uncovered bonds.

Activision Blizzard's BofA Merrill erupted with $2.75 billion after a period of weakness before work. The BofA Merrill continues its relationship with major emitters such as Level 3 Communications and Cincinnati Bell as well as the health care firm HCA. It was also strongly impacted by the price increase wave that hit the market in 2013 and enforced spreads cut on MGM Resorts International, IMS Health, Royalty Pharma and educational softwares firm Blackboard.

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