European High Yield Q1 24 — The bonds are back in town


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European High Yield Q1 24 — The bonds are back in town

Ryan Daniel's avatar
Josh Latham's avatar
  1. Matthew Hughes
  2. +Ryan Daniel
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14 min read

In what has been an eventful start to the year, with Altice France, Intrum and Ardagh Group each giving investors headaches, European high yield primary issuance has gotten off to a hot start. We’ve taken a look at some of the key figures and trends throughout Q1 2024:


  • European high yield companies issued €24bn in Q1 24, which is over 2x higher than the €11.6bn issued in Q1 23
  • Refinancings dominated, accounting for 84% of issuance. Meanwhile, new money deals were thin on the ground, with no LBOs and few recapitalisations or acquisitions
  • Spreads for risk assets are now exceptionally tighter, with the iTraxx Crossover closing Q1 at 299bps, well inside the 375bps-475bps range for most of 2023
  • However, borrowers should still expect to pay up in a refinancing. Based on current yields and average coupons, Single B companies average a 1.4x uplift in funding costs when refinancing, whereas double BB rated companies are looking at only a 1.1x increase
  • Sterling issuance has made a return, with €2.1bn equiv. printed in Q1 24, outperforming that seen in 2023
  • We estimate €10bn has been removed from the 2025 and €4bn from the 2026 maturity wall during the first quarter

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