Last year, 6.6 percent of all LBO deals had leverage ratios of seven times, up from just 3.4 percent in 2016. Drew Angerer/Getty Images/AFP
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Three words have finally set Wall Street deal-makers loose: President Donald Trump. Officially, the Trump administration has yet to rewrite Obama-era rules restricting how much debt banks can pile onto companies in buyouts. Barclays PLC helped underwrite $705 million of debt to finance the deal, pushing the company's borrowings to levels that Moody's Investors Service estimates will reach seven times earnings.It's the kind of deal that big banks like Barclays had been turning down in recent years – allowing the less-regulated Jefferies Group to suddenly become America's biggest arranger of buyout debt – because it would have likely caught the attention of regulators. Goldman Sachs Group Inc., UBS Group AG and Bank of America Corp. have all arranged debt for buyout deals over the past few weeks that pushed leverage levels.Other banks on similar deals declined to comment.To add to the renewed confidence is the open credit market that's willing to gobble up any new debt deal brought to it, which has paved the way for the jumbo Blackstone deal.
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