17 CFR § 246.9 - Open market CLOs.

§ 246.9 Open market CLOs.

(a)Definitions. For purposes of this section, the following definitions shall apply:

CLO means a special purpose entity that:

(i) Issues debt and equity interests, and

(ii) Whose assets consist primarily of loans that are securitized assets and servicing assets.

CLO-eligible loan tranche means a term loan of a syndicated facility that meets the criteria set forth in paragraph (c) of this section.

CLO manager means an entity that manages a CLO, which entity is registered as an investment adviser under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended (15 U.S.C. 80b-1et seq.), or is an affiliate of such a registered investment adviser and itself is managed by such registered investment adviser.

Commercial borrower means an obligor under a corporate credit obligation (including a loan).

Initial loan syndication transaction means a transaction in which a loan is syndicated to a group of lenders.

Lead arranger means, with respect to a CLO-eligible loan tranche, an institution that:

(i) Is active in the origination, structuring and syndication of commercial loan transactions (as defined in § 246.14) and has played a primary role in the structuring, underwriting and distribution on the primary market of the CLO-eligible loan tranche.

(ii) Has taken an allocation of the funded portion of the syndicated credit facility under the terms of the transaction that includes the CLO-eligible loan tranche of at least 20 percent of the aggregate principal balance at origination, and no other member (or members affiliated with each other) of the syndication group that funded at origination has taken a greater allocation; and

(iii) Is identified in the applicable agreement governing the CLO-eligible loan tranche; represents therein to the holders of the CLO-eligible loan tranche and to any holders of participation interests in such CLO-eligible loan tranche that such lead arranger satisfies the requirements of paragraph (i) of this definition and, at the time of initial funding of the CLO-eligible tranche, will satisfy the requirements of paragraph (ii) of this definition; further represents therein (solely for the purpose of assisting such holders to determine the eligibility of such CLO-eligible loan tranche to be held by an open market CLO) that in the reasonable judgment of such lead arranger, the terms of such CLO-eligible loan tranche are consistent with the requirements of paragraphs (c)(2) and (3) of this section; and covenants therein to such holders that such lead arranger will fulfill the requirements of paragraph (c)(1) of this section.

Open market CLO means a CLO:

(i) Whose assets consist of senior, secured syndicated loans acquired by such CLO directly from the sellers thereof in open market transactions and of servicing assets,

(ii) That is managed by a CLO manager, and

(iii) That holds less than 50 percent of its assets, by aggregate outstanding principal amount, in loans syndicated by lead arrangers that are affiliates of the CLO or the CLO manager or originated by originators that are affiliates of the CLO or the CLO manager.

Open market transaction means:

(i) Either an initial loan syndication transaction or a secondary market transaction in which a seller offers senior, secured syndicated loans to prospective purchasers in the loan market on market terms on an arm's length basis, which prospective purchasers include, but are not limited to, entities that are not affiliated with the seller, or

(ii) A reverse inquiry from a prospective purchaser of a senior, secured syndicated loan through a dealer in the loan market to purchase a senior, secured syndicated loan to be sourced by the dealer in the loan market.

Secondary market transaction means a purchase of a senior, secured syndicated loan not in connection with an initial loan syndication transaction but in the secondary market.

Senior, secured syndicated loan means a loan made to a commercial borrower that:

(i) Is not subordinate in right of payment to any other obligation for borrowed money of the commercial borrower,

(ii) Is secured by a valid first priority security interest or lien in or on specified collateral securing the commercial borrower's obligations under the loan, and

(iii) The value of the collateral subject to such first priority security interest or lien, together with other attributes of the obligor (including, without limitation, its general financial condition, ability to generate cash flow available for debt service and other demands for that cash flow), is adequate (in the commercially reasonable judgment of the CLO manager exercised at the time of investment) to repay the loan and to repay all other indebtedness of equal seniority secured by such first priority security interest or lien in or on the same collateral, and the CLO manager certifies, on or prior to each date that it acquires a loan constituting part of a new CLO-eligible tranche, that it has policies and procedures to evaluate the likelihood of repayment of loans acquired by the CLO and it has followed such policies and procedures in evaluating each CLO-eligible loan tranche.

(b)In general. A sponsor satisfies the risk retention requirements of § 246.3 with respect to an open market CLO transaction if:

(1) The open market CLO does not acquire or hold any assets other than CLO-eligible loan tranches that meet the requirements of paragraph (c) of this section and servicing assets;

(2) The governing documents of such open market CLO require that, at all times, the assets of the open market CLO consist of senior, secured syndicated loans that are CLO-eligible loan tranches and servicing assets;

(3) The open market CLO does not invest in ABS interests or in credit derivatives other than hedging transactions that are servicing assets to hedge risks of the open market CLO;

(4) All purchases of CLO-eligible loan tranches and other assets by the open market CLO issuing entity or through a warehouse facility used to accumulate the loans prior to the issuance of the CLO's ABS interests are made in open market transactions on an arms-length basis;

(5) The CLO manager of the open market CLO is not entitled to receive any management fee or gain on sale at the time the open market CLO issues its ABS interests.

(c)CLO-eligible loan tranche. To qualify as a CLO-eligible loan tranche, a term loan of a syndicated credit facility to a commercial borrower must have the following features:

(1) A minimum of 5 percent of the face amount of the CLO-eligible loan tranche is retained by the lead arranger thereof until the earliest of the repayment, maturity, involuntary and unscheduled acceleration, payment default, or bankruptcy default of such CLO-eligible loan tranche, provided that such lead arranger complies with limitations on hedging, transferring and pledging in § 246.12 with respect to the interest retained by the lead arranger.

(2) Lender voting rights within the credit agreement and any intercreditor or other applicable agreements governing such CLO-eligible loan tranche are defined so as to give holders of the CLO-eligible loan tranche consent rights with respect to, at minimum, any material waivers and amendments of such applicable documents, including but not limited to, adverse changes to the calculation or payments of amounts due to the holders of the CLO-eligible tranche, alterations to pro rata provisions, changes to voting provisions, and waivers of conditions precedent; and

(3) The pro rata provisions, voting provisions, and similar provisions applicable to the security associated with such CLO-eligible loan tranches under the CLO credit agreement and any intercreditor or other applicable agreements governing such CLO-eligible loan tranches are not materially less advantageous to the holder(s) of such CLO-eligible tranche than the terms of other tranches of comparable seniority in the broader syndicated credit facility.

(d)Disclosures. A sponsor relying on this section shall provide, or cause to be provided, to potential investors a reasonable period of time prior to the sale of the asset-backed securities in the securitization transaction and at least annually with respect to the information required by paragraph (d)(1) of this section and, upon request, to the Commission and its appropriate Federal banking agency, if any, the following disclosure in written form under the caption “Credit Risk Retention”:

(1)Open market CLOs. A complete list of every asset held by an open market CLO (or before the CLO's closing, in a warehouse facility in anticipation of transfer into the CLO at closing), including the following information:

(i) The full legal name, Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) category code, and legal entity identifier (LEI) issued by a utility endorsed or otherwise governed by the Global LEI Regulatory Oversight Committee or the Global LEI Foundation (if an LEI has been obtained by the obligor) of the obligor of the loan or asset;

(ii) The full name of the specific loan tranche held by the CLO;

(iii) The face amount of the entire loan tranche held by the CLO, and the face amount of the portion thereof held by the CLO;

(iv) The price at which the loan tranche was acquired by the CLO; and

(v) For each loan tranche, the full legal name of the lead arranger subject to the sales and hedging restrictions of § 246.12; and

(2)CLO manager. The full legal name and form of organization of the CLO manager.