Not a problem. I hear beer is up!
The item in question is a $122 billion globally syndicated loan to facilitate an Mergers & Acquisition deal between the world’s two largest beer companies—AB InBev with a 20% global market share and SABMiller with 10%. Needless to say, the only possible reason for creating a monstrosity with $60 billion in sales spread among scores of highly differentiated regional and national beer markets is the “synergy” euphemism—-that is, the “savings” from thousands of job terminations especially in those two paragons of job growth known as North America and Europe.
In fact, at the rumored $122 billion, the loan now brewing would amount to 6.5X free cash flow. In a no-growth business in a world where interest rates must eventually normalize–that is sheer lunacy. But it well explains why our monetary politburo is so reluctant to let interest rates normalize and is so deathly afraid of a Wall Street hissy fit.
None of this would happen in a world with honest interest rates and stable two-way capital markets for the simple reason that the financing could not be raised; boards and CEOs would have no momentum driven stock market inducing them to engage in patently irrational mergers; and, in any event, short sellers would swiftly punish serial roll-up machines that destroy rather than create sustainable economic value.