Apollo Global Management Inc. raised its first long-only fund to make opportunistic investments in multiple credit asset classes, including scooping up some of the $43 billion in buyout loans currently stuck on bank balance sheets.
The $2.4 billion Accord+ Fund will buy new and existing secured debt offering double-digit yields — such as the recent Carnival Corp. issuance — as well as private financings and high-quality structured credit that may be trading at prices below its true value, according to John Zito, Apollo’s deputy chief investment officer of credit.
“Any time there’s dislocation we tend to be a buyer” of investment-grade slices of debt offerings, Zito said in an interview.
Apollo also sees opportunities to refinance next year some of the roughly $100 billion of debt maturing in 2024, he said. The firm expects an economic downturn or recession next year.
“I think 2022 was the market responding to the rate move,” Zito said. “2023 is going to be the impact of all those rate hikes in the actual economy.”
Higher interest rates, geopolitical uncertainty and recession fears have roiled the U.S. credit market, leaving banks on the hook for billions of dollars of debt that they previously committed to fund leveraged buyouts.
Typically banks provide financing with the aim of later selling it to investors, but those lenders have been forced to hold onto the debt or sell it at steep discounts as would-be buyers stay on the sidelines.
Apollo bought at a discount some of the debt to fund Elliott Investment Management and Vista Equity Partners’s purchase of Citrix Systems Inc., as well as $1.1 billion of highly rated collateralized loan obligations sold by U.K. pension funds to meet margin calls.
Some of the hung debt sitting on bank balance sheets includes loans and bonds backing Apollo’s purchase of auto-parts maker Tenneco Inc.
The Accord+ Fund brings the amount of capital raised under its Accord series to $11 billion, according to a statement.