articles Ratings /ratings/en/research/articles/210226-default-transition-and-recovery-three-distressed-exchanges-push-the-2021-corporate-default-tally-to-14-11854732 content esgSubNav
Log in to other products


Looking for more?

In This List

Default, Transition, and Recovery: Three Distressed Exchanges Push The 2021 Corporate Default Tally To 14


Credit Trends: The Cost Of A Notch: During COVID-19, The Cost Of Falling To Speculative-Grade Reached A New High


Credit Trends: 'BBB' Pulse: Fallen Angel Downgrade Risk Is Set To Decline Sharply In 2021


Default, Transition, and Recovery: 2020 Annual Sovereign Default And Rating Transition Study


Default, Transition, and Recovery: Distressed Exchanges Account For Over Half Of 2021 Defaults

Default, Transition, and Recovery: Three Distressed Exchanges Push The 2021 Corporate Default Tally To 14

The global corporate default tally has increased to 14 after three issuers defaulted since our last report. The defaulters are:

  • North Carolina-based sock manufacturer Renfro Corp.,
  • Luxembourg-based bridal wear designer CatLuxe Sarl, and
  • Delaware-based global manufacturer of engineered components Form Technologies LLC.

With these additions, defaults from distressed exchanges have reached 10 (about 71% of total defaults), continuing the trend seen in the last two quarters of 2020 (see chart 1). By region, the U.S. leads with eight distressed exchanges, followed by Europe with two, as these regions continue to shift away from more traditional forms of defaults such as missed interest payments or bankruptcy.

Chart 1


This Week's Observations

  • By region, the U.S. is leading the default tally, with 10 out of 14 defaults in 2021 (see table 1).
  • Four sectors: media and entertainment (3), retail and restaurants (3), oil and gas (2), and consumer products (2), contribute to about 71% of the 2021 defaults (see chart 3).
  • The 12-month trailing speculative grade default rate for Europe declined to 5.0% in January 2021 from 5.3% in December 2020, while the same rate for the U.S. remained at 6.6%.
  • The 12-month trailing speculative-grade default rate for the global energy and natural resources sector increased to 15.6% in January 2021 from 15.0% in December 2020 (see chart 4).

Chart 2


Chart 3


Chart 4


Chart 5


Table 1

Global Corporate Default Summary
Region 12-month trailing speculative-grade default rate (%) 2021 2020 2019 Weakest links
U.S. 6.6 10 146 78 322
Emerging market 3.1 0 28 22 35
Europe 5.0 4 42 15 84
Other developed 6.0 0 10 3 25
Global 5.4 14 226 118 466
Note: 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. 24, 2021. Weakest link data is as of Jan. 31, 2021. Other developed region includes 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

Global Corporate Defaults 2021
Date Parent company Country Subsector To From Reason
1/5/21 HGIM Corp. U.S. Oil and gas SD CC Distressed exchange
1/6/21 Promotora de Informaciones S.A. Spain Media and entertainment SD CC Distressed exchange
1/8/21 Burger BossCo Intermediate Inc., U.S. Retail/restaurants SD CCC Distressed exchange
1/8/21 Riverbed Parent Inc., U.S. High technology SD CC Distressed exchange
1/21/21 AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. U.S. Media and entertainment SD CC Distressed exchange
1/25/21 Awesome Acquisition Co. L.P. U.S. Retail/restaurants D NR Chapter 11
1/27/21 Imagine Group LLC (The) U.S. Media and entertainment D CCC Distressed exchange
2/2/21 Belk Inc., U.S. Retail/restaurants D CC Missed interest payments
2/3/21 Peabody Energy Corp. U.S. Metals, mining, and steel SD CC Distressed exchange
2/11/21 Confidential Confidential Automotive D CCC- Confidential
2/11/21 Vallourec France Oil and gas SD CC Missed principal payments
2/19/21 Renfro Corp. U.S. Consumer products SD CCC- Distressed exchange
2/22/21 CatLuxe Sarl (CatLuxe Acquistion Sarl) Luxembourg Consumer products SD CCC+ Distressed exchange
2/22/21 Form Technologies LLC U.S. Capital goods SD CC Distressed exchange
Data as of Feb. 24, 2021. SD--Selective default. 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;

No content (including ratings, credit-related analyses and data, valuations, model, software or other application or output therefrom) or any part thereof (Content) may be modified, reverse engineered, reproduced or distributed in any form by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior written permission of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC or its affiliates (collectively, S&P). The Content shall not be used for any unlawful or unauthorized purposes. S&P and any third-party providers, as well as their directors, officers, shareholders, employees or agents (collectively S&P Parties) do not guarantee the accuracy, completeness, timeliness or availability of the Content. S&P Parties are not responsible for any errors or omissions (negligent or otherwise), regardless of the cause, for the results obtained from the use of the Content, or for the security or maintenance of any data input by the user. The Content is provided on an “as is” basis. S&P PARTIES DISCLAIM ANY AND ALL EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, ANY WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE OR USE, FREEDOM FROM BUGS, SOFTWARE ERRORS OR DEFECTS, THAT THE CONTENT’S FUNCTIONING WILL BE UNINTERRUPTED OR THAT THE CONTENT WILL OPERATE WITH ANY SOFTWARE OR HARDWARE CONFIGURATION. In no event shall S&P Parties be liable to any party for any direct, indirect, incidental, exemplary, compensatory, punitive, special or consequential damages, costs, expenses, legal fees, or losses (including, without limitation, lost income or lost profits and opportunity costs or losses caused by negligence) in connection with any use of the Content even if advised of the possibility of such damages.

Credit-related and other analyses, including ratings, and statements in the Content are statements of opinion as of the date they are expressed and not statements of fact. S&P’s opinions, analyses and rating acknowledgment decisions (described below) are not recommendations to purchase, hold, or sell any securities or to make any investment decisions, and do not address the suitability of any security. S&P assumes no obligation to update the Content following publication in any form or format. The Content should not be relied on and is not a substitute for the skill, judgment and experience of the user, its management, employees, advisors and/or clients when making investment and other business decisions. S&P does not act as a fiduciary or an investment advisor except where registered as such. While S&P has obtained information from sources it believes to be reliable, S&P does not perform an audit and undertakes no duty of due diligence or independent verification of any information it receives. Rating-related publications may be published for a variety of reasons that are not necessarily dependent on action by rating committees, including, but not limited to, the publication of a periodic update on a credit rating and related analyses.

To the extent that regulatory authorities allow a rating agency to acknowledge in one jurisdiction a rating issued in another jurisdiction for certain regulatory purposes, S&P reserves the right to assign, withdraw or suspend such acknowledgment at any time and in its sole discretion. S&P Parties disclaim any duty whatsoever arising out of the assignment, withdrawal or suspension of an acknowledgment as well as any liability for any damage alleged to have been suffered on account thereof.

S&P keeps certain activities of its business units separate from each other in order to preserve the independence and objectivity of their respective activities. As a result, certain business units of S&P may have information that is not available to other S&P business units. S&P has established policies and procedures to maintain the confidentiality of certain non-public information received in connection with each analytical process.

S&P may receive compensation for its ratings and certain analyses, normally from issuers or underwriters of securities or from obligors. S&P reserves the right to disseminate its opinions and analyses. S&P's public ratings and analyses are made available on its Web sites, (free of charge), and and (subscription), and may be distributed through other means, including via S&P publications and third-party redistributors. Additional information about our ratings fees is available at

Any Passwords/user IDs issued by S&P to users are single user-dedicated and may ONLY be used by the individual to whom they have been assigned. No sharing of passwords/user IDs and no simultaneous access via the same password/user ID is permitted. To reprint, translate, or use the data or information other than as provided herein, contact S&P Global Ratings, Client Services, 55 Water Street, New York, NY 10041; (1) 212-438-7280 or by e-mail to:

Register with S&P Global Ratings

Register now to access exclusive content, events, tools, and more.

Go Back