Apollo Global Management has bought part of a USD2 billion one-year loan arranged by a group of banks aimed at helping United Airlines (UA, Chicago O'Hare) boost liquidity amid the coronavirus crisis, sources familiar with the matter told Bloomberg.

The loan, which closed in mid-March, is one of many that banks in the United States have arranged to help companies in a spectrum of industries to assist them through the coming months. American Airlines, JetBlue Airways, and Southwest Airlines have all entered into similar arrangements.

Apollo Global Management is a New York-based private equity firm whose credit investing wing is now three times as big as its private equity business. Recently it has aggressively expanded into direct lending, including aircraft finance, according to Bloomberg.

Apollo and other investment firms have been negotiating with banks about participating in loans to airlines, the sources said.

United’s loan, which was arranged by Barclays, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, and Morgan Stanley, is secured by aircraft and other assets as collateral. That gives the banks, and Apollo, a direct claim to the assets.

Fitch Ratings revised its outlook on United to negative on March 19, citing its significant international exposure while also forecasting that traffic disruptions may last longer than previously expected.

By March 23, United's shares had lost 73% of their value this year, according to investment advisory firm The Motley Fool. Though it has a lighter debt burden than American, it still reported debt and lease liabilities of USD20.5 billion at the end of 2019, offset by USD4.9 billion of cash and investments.