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Default, Transition, and Recovery: Two European Corporate Defaults Push The 2021 Global Tally To 11


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Default, Transition, and Recovery: Two European Corporate Defaults Push The 2021 Global Tally To 11

The 2021 global corporate default tally has increased to 11 after two Europe-based defaults since our last report: French specialized tubular solutions provider Vallourec and one confidential issuer.

With these additions, 2021 European defaults reached three, one each from the media and entertainment, oil and gas, and auto sectors. In 2020, defaults in Europe reached an all-time high of 42, led by the oil and gas sector with 10. We expect the European trailing-12-month speculative-grade corporate default rate to rise to 8% by September 2021 from 4.3% in September 2020 (see "The European Speculative-Grade Corporate Default Rate Could Reach 8% By September 2021," Nov. 25, 2020).

Chart 1


This Week's Observations

  • At this point in 2020, 2019, and 2018, there were 15, 16, and 15 global corporate defaults, respectively.
  • By region, the U.S. is leading the default tally, with eight out of 11 defaults in 2021 (see table 1).
  • By sector, media and entertainment and retail and restaurants are leading 2021 defaults, with three each, followed by the oil and gas sector, with two (see chart 3).
  • Defaults related to distressed exchanges lead so far in 2021, with seven (see chart 4).

Chart 2


Chart 3


Chart 4


Chart 5


Table 1

The U.S. Leads 2021 Corporate Defaults With Eight
Region 12-month-trailing speculative-grade default rate (%) 2021 2020 2019 Weakest links
U.S. 6.6* 8 146 78 338
Emerging markets 3.1 0 28 22 35
Europe 5.0* 3 42 15 85
Other developed 5.9 0 10 3 24
Global 5.5 11 226 118 482
*Trailing-12-month default rates from Jan. 31, 2020-Jan. 31, 2021, are preliminary and subject to change. Year-to-date data as of Feb. 17, 2021. Weakest link data is as of Dec. 28, 2020. Other developed region is Australia, Canada, Japan, and New Zealand. Default counts may include confidentially rated issuers. Sources: S&P Global Ratings Research and S&P Global Market Intelligence’s CreditPro®.

Table 2

The 2021 Global Corporate Default Tally Rises To 11
Date Parent company Country Subsector To From Reason

HGIM Corp.

U.S. Oil and gas SD CC Distressed exchange

Promotora de Informaciones S.A.

Spain Media and entertainment SD CC Distressed exchange

Burger BossCo Intermediate Inc.

U.S. Retail/restaurants SD CCC Distressed exchange

Riverbed Parent Inc.

U.S. High technology SD CC Distressed exchange

AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc.

U.S. Media and entertainment SD CC Distressed exchange

Awesome Acquisition Co. L.P.

U.S. Retail/restaurants D NR Chapter 11

Imagine Group LLC (The)

U.S. Media and entertainment D CCC Distressed exchange

Belk Inc.

U.S. Retail/restaurants D CC Missed interest payments

Peabody Energy Corp.

U.S. Metals, mining, and steel SD CC Distressed exchange
2/11/21 Confidential Confidential Automotive D CCC- Confidential


France Oil and gas SD CC Missed principal payments
NR--Not rated. SD--Selective default. Data as of Feb. 17, 2021. Sources: S&P Global Ratings Research and S&P Global Market Intelligence’s CreditPro®.

Related Research

Default Studies

More analysis and statistics are available in our annual default studies, published on RatingsDirect:

Corporate (financial and nonfinancial)
Structured finance
U.S. public finance
Sovereign and international public finance

This report does not constitute a rating action.

Credit Markets Research:Nicole Serino, New York + 1 (212) 438 1396;
Sudeep K Kesh, New York (1) 212-438-7982;
Research Contributor:Shripati Pranshu, Mumbai;

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