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Ares Management takes controlling stake through debt of Bain-backed Guitar Center

Guitar Center, a retailer of musical instruments and recording equipment, has completed a transaction that has reduced its total debt by about $500 million and annual cash interest expense by more than $70 million. As part of the deal, Ares Management has exchanged a portion of its holdings of the company’s debt into preferred stock and taken a controlling interest in Guitar Center. Bain Capital, which acquired Guitar Center in 2007 in a deal valued at $2.1 billion, will retain partial ownership along with board representation.

KBW announces new hire

Financial services investment bank KBW has named Halle Benett as co-head of diversified financials investment banking. Previously, he worked at Ares Management where he served as senior advisor. KBW is a subsidiary of Stifel Financial Corp.

Ares rejects pitches to do IPO soon – Reuters

Ares Management has been pitched on the idea of an initial public offering for the past year, but the firm that had been widely expected to be the next among major private equity firms to go public has no plans to pull the trigger just yet, writes Reuters. Sources familiar with Ares, which has about $70 billion in assets under management, said major Wall Street banks have been calling on the firm to discuss the merits of an IPO.

ITW gets private equity bids for $3 billion-plus unit – Reuters

At least six major private equity groups are competing to buy the industrial packaging segment of Illinois Tool Works, in a deal that could fetch more than $3 billion, writes Reuters. Carlyle, Blackstone, Apollo Global Management, Bain Capital, Ares Management and a consortium of Onex Corp and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board are among the firms that advanced to the second round of bidding.

GE Capital and Ares Management back Ethypharm

Ares Management and GE Capital are mandated lead arrangers for the senior unitranche facilities for Ethypharm, a French portfolio company of Astorg Partners. Proceeds of the facilities will be used to refinance existing indebtedness and fund future acquisitions.

Advantstar Global Closes ENK Buy

Advanstar Global has completed its previously announced buy of ENK International for $155 million. ENK organizes fashion events in New York, Las Vegas, Europe and Asia. Advanstar is backed by Anchorage Capital Group, Ares Management, and Veronis Suhler Stevenson. GE Capital, RBS Citizens and U.S. Bank provided debt financing for the deal.

Ares Dynamic Credit Allocation Fund in $320m IPO

Ares Management has announced the successful initial public offering of Ares Dynamic Credit Allocation Fund. The fund priced an offering of 16 million shares at a price of $20.00 per share, for a total issuance of $320 million. Shares will commence trading today on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the symbol ARDC.

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