Uptier Exchange Transactions: Lawful Innovation or Lender-on-Lender Violence?PDF Download
This Note examines the recent phenomenon of “uptier exchange transactions”: transactions in which a borrower takes assignment of existing loans from participating lenders—those lenders holding a majority of the principal amount of the loan—and then issues new superpriority tranches of debt to the participating lenders, subordinating nonparticipating lenders in the process. Uptier exchange transactions were born in the throes of the COVID19 pandemic and continue to evolve in the courts. This Note analyzes these transactions and all major litigation concerning them to date. It makes a normative argument in favor of curbing the reach of uptier exchange transactions through equitable judicial interpretation. Finally, this Note proposes an amendment to Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code that would protect nonparticipating lenders against these transactions, invoking the Trust Indenture Act of 1939 as a textual model.