special purpose entity

special purpose entity
special purpose entity ( SPE); special purpose vehicle ( SPV)
A legal entity, sometimes a trust or a limited partnership, that is created solely for the purpose of holding assets.
(1) The SPV may be used to obtain "off balance sheet funding" by obtaining secured loans backed by its assets. GAAP accounting rules may permit the assets and liabilities of the SPV to be unconsolidated and therefore off the balance sheet of the entity that generated the assets.
(2) The SPV may issue securities backed by its assets. In a typical collateralized debt obligation, the underlying assets are owned by a special purpose vehicle. The SPV then issues different classes of securities with different risk characteristics. Note that the term " CDO" may be used to refer to the SPV or to the securities that are issued by the SPV. American Banker Glossary

Financial and business terms. 2012.

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