Case | HBS Case Collection | October 2013 (Revised November 2013)

Blackstone and the Sale of Citigroup's Loan Portfolio

by Victoria Ivashina and David Scharfstein

Abstract

The credit boom that preceded the 2007-2009 financial crisis led to several lending practices that exposed banks to large risks. In particular, when the financial crisis unraveled, there were several billion dollars' worth of leveraged buyout (LBO) loans that were meant to be syndicated but—due to full underwriting—had to be funded by the originating banks. The case protagonist is Bennett J. Goodman, a Senior Managing Director at Blackstone. Goodman evaluates the opportunity to buy a fraction of the leveraged loan portfolio being offered for sale by Citigroup. This case can be used as a vehicle for discussing details of leveraged financing. In particular, it illustrates the close connection between syndicated-lending-backed leveraged transactions and loan securitization, and provides a context for discussion of factors that led to the leveraged credit boom that ended in 2007. The case also provides in-depth details of the structure of the transaction and its underlying assets, and serves as a means for understanding and valuing alternative investment strategies pursued by private equity firms during the credit-market crisis. As a byproduct, students learn how to use credit default swaps (CDS), a market-based indicator, for valuation.

Keywords: Restructuring; Private Equity; Insolvency and Bankruptcy; Credit Derivatives and Swaps; Financial Markets; Investment; Banking Industry; Financial Services Industry;

Citation:

Ivashina, Victoria, and David Scharfstein. "Blackstone and the Sale of Citigroup's Loan Portfolio." Harvard Business School Case 214-037, October 2013. (Revised November 2013.)