Termination event

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ISDA Anatomy

incorporating our exclusive ISDA in a Nutshell™

In a Nutshell Section 5(b):

5(b) Termination Events

The events below occur to a party or its Credit Support Provider or Specified Entity (subject to Section 5(c)) it will be an Illegality (5(b)(i)); a Force Majeure Event (5(b)(ii)), a Tax Event (5(b)(iii)), a Tax Event Upon Merger (5(b)(iv)) and Credit Event Upon Merger (5(b)(v)):

5(b)(i) Illegality. Taking account of any fallbacks and remedies in the Transaction, for reasons beyond the Affected Party’s control, (not counting a lack of authorisation required under Section 4(b)), it would be illegal in any relevant jurisdiction to comply with any material term of a Transaction or Credit Support Document.
5(b)(ii) Force Majeure Event. A force majeure occurring after any Transaction is executed means:―
(1) the Affected Party’s relevant Office cannot practicably perform any obligation under the Transaction; or
(2) the Affected Party or its Credit Support Provider cannot practicably perform any obligation under the Transaction;
if the force majeure is outside the Affected Party’s control and it could not, using all reasonable efforts (without incurring more than incidental expenses by way of loss), overcome the necessary prevention;
5(b)(iii) Tax Event It will be a Termination Event when, following a change in tax law or practice after any trade date, an Affected Party is likely to have to either:
(1) Gross up an Indemnifiable Tax deduction (other than for interest under Section 9(h)); or
(2) receive a payment net of Tax which the Non-Affected Party is not required to gross up (other than where it is caused by the Non-Affected Party’s own omission or breach).
5(b)(iv) Tax Event Upon Merger. A party (the “Burdened Party”) on the next Scheduled Settlement Date will have to:
(1) Gross up an Indemnifiable Tax deduction (other than for interest under Section 9(h)); or
(2) receive payments net of Tax which are not required to be grossed up (other than where that is caused by the Non-Affected Party’s own omission or breach);
because a party has merged with, transferred substantially all of its assets into, or reorganised itself as, another entity (the Affected Party) where that does not amount to a Merger Without Assumption;
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;
5(b)(vi) Additional Termination Event. If any “Additional Termination Event” is specified, the occurrence of that event (where the Affected Party will be as specified in the Confirmation or Schedule).

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2002 ISDA full text of Section 5(b):

5(b) Termination Events. The occurrence at any time with respect to a party or, if applicable, any Credit Support Provider of such party or any Specified Entity of such party of any event specified below constitutes (subject to Section 5(c)) an Illegality if the event is specified in clause (i) below, a Force Majeure Event if the event is specified in clause (ii) below, a Tax Event if the event is specified in clause (iii) below, a Tax Event Upon Merger if the event is specified in clause (iv) below, and, if specified to be applicable, a Credit Event Upon Merger if the event is specified pursuant to clause 5(b)(v) below:

5(b)(i) Illegality. After giving effect to any applicable provision, disruption fallback or remedy specified in, or pursuant to, the relevant Confirmation or elsewhere in this Agreement, due to an event or circumstance (other than any action taken by a party or, if applicable, any Credit Support Provider of such party) occurring after a Transaction is entered into, it becomes unlawful under any applicable law (including without limitation the laws of any country in which payment, delivery or compliance is required by either party or any Credit Support Provider, as the case may be), on any day, or it would be unlawful if the relevant payment, delivery or compliance were required on that day (in each case, other than as a result of a breach by the party of Section 4(b)):―
5(b)(i)(1) for the Office through which such party (which will be the Affected Party) makes and receives payments or deliveries with respect to such Transaction to perform any absolute or contingent obligation to make a payment or delivery in respect of such Transaction, to receive a payment or delivery in respect of such Transaction or to comply with any other material provision of this Agreement relating to such Transaction; or
5(b)(i)(2) for such party or any Credit Support Provider of such party (which will be the Affected Party) to perform any absolute or contingent obligation to make a payment or delivery which such party or Credit Support Provider has under any Credit Support Document relating to such Transaction, to receive a payment or delivery under such Credit Support Document or to comply with any other material provision of such Credit Support Document;
5(b)(ii) Force Majeure Event. After giving effect to any applicable provision, disruption fallback or remedy specified in, or pursuant to, the relevant Confirmation or elsewhere in this Agreement, by reason of force majeure or act of state occurring after a Transaction is entered into, on any day:―
5(b)(ii)(1) the Office through which such party (which will be the Affected Party) makes and receives payments or deliveries with respect to such Transaction is prevented from performing any absolute or contingent obligation to make a payment or delivery in respect of such Transaction, from receiving a payment or delivery in respect of such Transaction or from complying with any other material provision of this Agreement relating to such Transaction (or would be so prevented if such payment, delivery or compliance were required on that day), or it becomes impossible or impracticable for such Office so to perform, receive or comply (or it would be impossible or impracticable for such Office so to perform, receive or comply if such payment, delivery or compliance were required on that day); or
5(b)(ii)(2) such party or any Credit Support Provider of such party (which will be the Affected Party) is prevented from performing any absolute or contingent obligation to make a payment or delivery which such party or Credit Support Provider has under any Credit Support Document relating to such Transaction, from receiving a payment or delivery under such Credit Support Document or from complying with any other material provision of such Credit Support Document (or would be so prevented if such payment, delivery or compliance were required on that day), or it becomes impossible or impracticable for such party or Credit Support Provider so to perform, receive or comply (or it would be impossible or impracticable for such party or Credit Support Provider so to perform, receive or comply if such payment, delivery or compliance were required on that day),
so long as the force majeure or act of state is beyond the control of such Office, such party or such Credit Support Provider, as appropriate, and such Office, party or Credit Support Provider could not, after using all reasonable efforts (which will not require such party or Credit Support Provider to incur a loss, other than immaterial, incidental expenses), overcome such prevention, impossibility or impracticability;
5(b)(iii) Tax Event. Due to
(1) any action taken by a taxing authority, or brought in a court of competent jurisdiction, after a Transaction is entered into (regardless of whether such action is taken or brought with respect to a party to this Agreement) or
(2) a Change in Tax Law,
the party (which will be the Affected Party) will, or there is a substantial likelihood that it will, on the next succeeding Scheduled Settlement Date
(A) be required to pay to the other party an additional amount in respect of an Indemnifiable Tax under Section 2(d)(i)(4) (except in respect of interest under Section 9(h)) or
(B) receive a payment from which an amount is required to be deducted or withheld for or on account of a Tax (except in respect of interest under Section 9(h)) and no additional amount is required to be paid in respect of such Tax under Section 2(d)(i)(4) (other than by reason of Section 2(d)(i)(4)(A) or (B));
The line breaks are for comprehension and do not appear in the original
5(b)(iv) Tax Event Upon Merger. The party (the “Burdened Party”) on the next succeeding Scheduled Settlement Date will either (1) be required to pay an additional amount in respect of an Indemnifiable Tax under Section 2(d)(i)(4) (except in respect of interest under Section 9(h)) or (2) receive a payment from which an amount has been deducted or withheld for or on account of any Tax in respect of which the other party is not required to pay an additional amount (other than by reason of Section 2(d)(i)(4)(A) or (B)), in either case as a result of a party consolidating or amalgamating with, or merging with or into, or transferring all or substantially all its assets (or any substantial part of the assets comprising the business conducted by it as of the date of this Master Agreement) to, or reorganising, reincorporating or reconstituting into or as, another entity (which will be the Affected Party) where such action does not constitute a Merger Without Assumption;
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
5(b)(vi) Additional Termination Event. If any “Additional Termination Event” is specified in the Schedule or any Confirmation as applying, the occurrence of such event (and, in such event, the Affected Party or Affected Parties will be as specified for such Additional Termination Event in the Schedule or such Confirmation).

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Click here for the text of Section 5(b) in the 1992 ISDA


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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See: Early Termination Events under the ISDA Master Agreement.

A termination event is a softer, gentler kind of event of default.

Popularised by those habitual splitters of hairs, ISDA lawyers, Early Termination Events are circumstances giving grounds to terminate an ISDA Master Agreement that do not speak to the moral character or unacceptable creditworthiness of the Affected Party (so labelled, as opposed to a ’Defaulting Party, who is such a turpitudinous wretch).

So an Illegality, a Force Majeure, a Tax Event, a Tax Event Upon Merger or a Credit Event Upon Merger — all these things speak to the motion of vengeful gods above our mortal heads; seismic changes beyond our gift or capacity to control, and for whose provenance we can’t roundly be blamed.

There again, Additional Termination Events — that category of other stuff thrown in for good measure by the credit department, and which are assured to foul up your negotiation for months — these are more naughty in their bearing, and “defaulty” — but they still roll like ATEs.

In most master trading agreements this kind of dancing on a pinhead is of little moment and is scarcely to be encouraged (but let a creative credit officer loose on it, and you’ll be amazed what she can come up with), but the term, volatility and net exposure one can generate under an ISDA Master Agreement make them a little special.

And we all like to feel a little special sometimes, don’t we?