Investor's wiki

Affirmative Covenant

Affirmative Covenant

What Is an Affirmative Covenant?

An affirmative covenant is a type of commitment or contract that requires a party to stick to certain terms. For instance, an affirmative bond covenant could give that a issuer keep up with adequate levels of insurance or deliver inspected financial statements.

Affirmative covenants, which require an issuer to perform certain activities or meet specific benchmarks, might be appeared differently in relation to restrictive or negative covenants, which rather refuse the issuer from taking part in certain activities.

Grasping Affirmative Covenants

A covenant joined to a financial instrument is a commitment or indenture forced on the issuer commanding that certain activities, thresholds, or milestones will or won't be carried out or met. Covenants in finance most frequently connect with terms in a debt contract, for example, a loan document or bond issue expressing the limits at which the borrower can additionally loan. On the off chance that a covenant is broken, the lender typically has the option to call back the obligation from the borrower as well as face other predefined punishments. In bond agreements, both affirmative and restrictive covenants are utilized to safeguard the interests of both issuer and bondholder.

An affirmative or positive covenant is a clause that requires a borrower to perform specific activities. Instances of affirmative covenants incorporate requirements to keep up with adequate levels of insurance, requirements to outfit evaluated financial statements to the lender, compliance with applicable laws, and maintenance of appropriate accounting books and credit rating, if applicable. Extra instances of affirmative covenants incorporate committing the issuer to return the principal of a loan at maturity or keep up with its underlying assets or specific collateral, like real estate or hardware

A violation of an affirmative covenant usually results in outright default. Certain loan contracts might contain clauses that furnish a borrower with a grace period to cure the violation. On the off chance that not remedied, creditors are qualified for declare default and demand immediate repayment of principal and any accrued interest.

Affirmative Covenants and Leveraged Loans

In September 2017, Bloomberg ran an article about the lack of affirmative (or restrictive) covenants in numerous new offerings. The term "covenant-light" has been utilized to depict several new leveraged loans. Without such protections, a firm might actually pile up a lot of unpaid liability without respect for performance. The casual climate for such terms has made the discernment that a loan must be of poor quality in the event that a borrower needs to resort to covenants by any stretch of the imagination. Presently, several lenders don't need that the issuer meet periodic performance objectives (otherwise called maintenance covenants).

While wagers of this nature are more secure for bigger and more settled companies with standard cash flows (like blue-chip companies), a few investors, for example, are worried about loans to [middle-market](/center market) borrowers. These companies have earnings under $50 million, offer them less leeway to recuperate from an expensive mistake and increase their risk of default.

Instances of Affirmative Covenants

In a March 2018 report by Mayer Brown LLP on high yield bonds by German real estate companies, the firm noticed that another player, the Luxembourg-based Corestate Capital Holding S.A. (S&P: BB+) joined the group of real estate companies giving debt. These notes address a junior portion of a firm's overall capital structure. Dissimilar to traditional high yield bonds, the notes issued by Corestate Capital wouldn't be callable prior to maturity. Simultaneously, German law stated that they couldn't contain a full, traditional high yield covenant package. No limitations were to be put on Corestate to confine distributions from its auxiliaries. Likewise, there is no affiliate transactions covenant.

Another model includes the case of apparel retailer J.Crew Group, Inc. Faced with declining sales and eager lenders in 2017, the apparel retailer made an unregistered subsidiary to hold its intellectual property. The new subsidiary was then utilized as collateral to secure one more loan for the company. Because of J Crew's turn, investors in companies started including a covenant known as the J.Crew blocker, which prevented companies from carrying out such moves from here on out.


  • In recent times, investors have taken a more remiss mentality towards affirmative covenants.
  • Affirmative covenants are basically protections for investors, assuming that there are issues with the company the covenant calls for remediation.
  • Affirmative (or positive) covenants can measure up to restrictive (or negative) covenants, which require a party to cease or abstain from following through with something, such as selling certain assets.
  • Affirmative covenants are legal vows to take part in certain activities or meet certain benchmarks added to a financial contract that an issuer must follow.