Credit Event Upon Merger - ISDA Provision

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2002 ISDA Master Agreement
A Jolly Contrarian owner’s manual

Section 5(b)(v) in a Nutshell
Use at your own risk, campers!

5(b)(v) Credit Event Upon Merger. If “Credit Event Upon Merger” applies and it or any of its Credit Support Providers or Specified Entities suffers a Designated Event (which is not a Merger Without Assumption) and the relevant entity’s (which will be the Affected Party) creditworthiness is materially weaker as a result.
A “Designated Event” means that the relevant entity:―
(1) merges with, or transfers substantially all of its assets into, or reorganises itself as another entity;
(2) comes under the effective voting control of another entity; or
(3) makes a substantial change in its capital structure by issuing or guaranteeing debt, equities or analogous interests, or securities convertible into them;

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Section 5(b)(v) in full

5(b)(v) Credit Event Upon Merger. If “Credit Event Upon Merger” is specified in the Schedule as applying to the party, a Designated Event (as defined below) occurs with respect to such party, any Credit Support Provider of such party or any applicable Specified Entity of such party (in each case, “X”) and such Designated Event does not constitute a Merger Without Assumption, and the creditworthiness of X or, if applicable, the successor, surviving or transferee entity of X, after taking into account any applicable Credit Support Document, is materially weaker immediately after the occurrence of such Designated Event than that of X immediately prior to the occurrence of such Designated Event (and, in any such event, such party or its successor, surviving or transferee entity, as appropriate, will be the Affected Party).

A “Designated Event” with respect to X means that:―

(1) X consolidates or amalgamates with, or merges with or into, or transfers all or substantially all its assets (or any substantial part of the assets comprising the business conducted by X as of the date of this ISDA Master Agreement) to, or reorganises, reincorporates or reconstitutes into or as, another entity;
(2) any person, related group of persons or entity acquires directly or indirectly the beneficial ownership of (A) equity securities having the power to elect a majority of the board of directors (or its equivalent) of X or (B) any other ownership interest enabling it to exercise control of X; or
(3) X effects any substantial change in its capital structure by means of the issuance, incurrence or guarantee of debt or the issuance of (A) preferred stock or other securities convertible into or exchangeable for debt or preferred stock or (B) in the case of entities other than corporations, any other form of ownership interest; or

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Related agreements and comparisons

Related Agreements
Click here for the text of Section 5(b)(iv) in the 1992 ISDA
Template:Isdadiff 5(b)(iv)

Resources and navigation

Resources Wikitext | Nutshell wikitext | 1992 ISDA wikitext | 2002 vs 1992 Showdown | 2006 ISDA Definitions | 2008 ISDA | JC’s ISDA code project
Navigation Preamble | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14
Events of Default: 5(a)(i) Failure to Pay or Deliver5(a)(ii) Breach of Agreement5(a)(iii) Credit Support Default5(a)(iv) Misrepresentation5(a)(v) Default Under Specified Transaction5(a)(vi) Cross Default5(a)(vii) Bankruptcy5(a)(viii) Merger without Assumption
Termination Events: 5(b)(i) Illegality5(b)(ii) Force Majeure Event5(b)(iii) Tax Event5(b)(iv) Tax Event Upon Merger5(b)(v) Credit Event Upon Merger5(b)(vi) Additional Termination Event

Index — Click ᐅ to expand:

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Content and comparisons

Numbering Discrepancy: Note the numbering discrepancy in Section 5(b) between the 1992 ISDA and 2002 ISDA. This is caused by a new 5(b)(ii) (Force Majeure Event) in the 2002 ISDA before Tax Event, which is thus shunted from Section 5(b)(ii) (in the 1992 ISDA) to Section 5(b)(iii) (in the 2002 ISDA).
- Section 5(a)(viii) is Merger Without Assumption.

1992 ISDA upgrade

Even before the 2002 ISDA was published it was common to upgrade the 1992 ISDA formulation to something resembling the glorious concoction that became Section 5(b)(v) of the 2002 ISDA. The 1992 wording is a bit lame, really. See the panel below right for a snapshot of the difference

On the other hand, you could count the number of times an ISDA Master Agreement is closed out on account of Credit Event Upon Merger on the fingers of one hand, even if you had lost all the fingers on that hand to an industrial accident. So — yeah.


Pay attention to the interplay between this section and Section 7(a) (Transfer). You should not need to amend Section 7(a) (for example to require equivalence of credit quality of any transferee entity etc., because that is managed by CEUM.

Note also the interrelationship between CEUM and a Ratings Downgrade ATE, should there be one. One can be forgiven for feeling a little ambivalent about CEUM because it is either caught by Ratings Downgrade or, if there is no requirement for a general Ratings Downgrade, insisting on CEUM seems a bit arbitrary (i.e. why do you care about a downgrade as a result of a merger, but not any other ratings downgrade?)

Hedge funds and CEUM

Really, we are a hedge fund, we’re not rated, we’re not going to be and we’re hardly going to merge, are we? and even if we did we wouldn’t do it in a way that disadvantaged existing investors. So must we really have a CEUM? We really must[1], lest the sky fall in on our heads. For it is written: it is the credit officer’s refrain.

See also

Template:M sa 2002 ISDA 5(b)(v)


  1. We really need not.