Varagon Capital Partners LP has agreed to form a new partnership with Aflac Global Investments. According to terms of the agreement, Aflac will make a multi-year investment commitment of up to $3 billion to Varagon to invest in middle-market loans. Also, Aflac will acquire a “significant” minority stake in Varagon from certain former and current partners and affiliates of Oak Hill Capital Management. At the closing of the deal, Aflac and American International Group, which has been an anchor investor in Varagon since 2014, will hold equal ownership stakes.
NEW YORK, January 8, 2020 – Varagon Capital Partners, L.P. (“Varagon”), a leading direct lender to middle market companies, today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to form a new strategic partnership with Aflac Global Investments (“Aflac”) and is extending its existing strategic partnership with American International Group (“AIG”).
Upon closing of the new partnership, Aflac will make a new multi-year investment commitment of up to $3.0 billion to Varagon to invest in middle market loans. Aflac will also acquire a significant noncontrolling minority interest in Varagon, creating a mutually-beneficial partnership and demonstrating a commitment to a long-term relationship.
Aflac will acquire the interests in Varagon currently held by certain former and current partners and affiliates of Oak Hill Capital Management. The transaction will not reduce ownership of Varagon by management or AIG, and upon closing, Aflac and AIG will hold equal ownership stakes. Varagon will continue to operate as an independent company with no changes to its strategy, investment philosophy, management team, or day-to-day operations.
AIG, which has been an anchor investor and client of Varagon since 2014, will continue to support the growth of the platform.
Walter Owens, Chief Executive Officer of Varagon, said: “We are excited to welcome Aflac as a new partner and to continue our strategic relationship with AIG. These long-term commitments from two world-class insurers provide access to substantial capital, enhance Varagon’s capabilities to serve investors and borrowers, and accelerate the execution of our strategic growth objectives. We appreciate Aflac’s recognition of Varagon’s capabilities as a leading middle market asset manager and we look forward to a successful partnership.”
Eric M. Kirsch, Aflac Incorporated Executive Vice President, Global Chief Investment Officer and President of Aflac Global Investments, commented: “Middle market credit is a strategically important asset class for Aflac and we are excited to partner with Varagon. Varagon’s rigorous investment underwriting process and proven origination capabilities directly align with Aflac’s strategy of partnering with high-quality asset managers.”
Geoffrey Cornell, Deputy Chief Investment Officer of AIG Investments, added: “As a long-term investor with a focus on credit discipline, we see an attractive opportunity in middle market credit and are pleased to continue our partnership with the Varagon team. We are proud to have been an early backer of Varagon. We are looking forward to Aflac joining our strategic partnership to jointly support Varagon’s continued growth.”
The transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions and certain regulatory approvals, is expected to close in the first quarter of 2020.
Wells Fargo Securities served as financial advisor and Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP provided legal representation to Varagon; Rothschild & Co served as financial advisor and Debevoise & Plimpton LLP provided legal representation to Aflac; and Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP provided legal representation to AIG.
About Varagon Capital Partners
Varagon Capital Partners is an asset manager focused on direct lending to middle market companies. Varagon invests across the capital structure and offers flexible financing solutions to meet the needs of borrowers and private equity sponsors. Varagon manages funds and accounts on behalf of institutional investors that seek exposure to high-quality, directly-originated middle market loans. As of December 31, 2019, Varagon had made over $14.5 billion of financing commitments to over 180 companies. For more information about Varagon, visit www.varagon.com.
About Aflac Global Investments
Aflac Global Investments refers to Aflac Asset Management LLC and Aflac Asset Management Japan Ltd., which are the asset management subsidiaries of Aflac Incorporated. Aflac Global Investments is responsible for managing the invested assets of Aflac Incorporated’s insurance subsidiaries in Japan and the U.S. At the end of September 2019, Aflac Global Investments managed more than $120 billion in general account assets and had 125 investment and support professionals who work at its offices in New York and Tokyo.
About Aflac Incorporated
Aflac Incorporated (NYSE: AFL) is a Fortune 500 company, helping provide protection to more than 50 million people through its subsidiaries in Japan and the U.S., where it is a leading supplemental insurer by paying cash fast when policyholders get sick or injured. For more than six decades, insurance policies of Aflac Incorporated’s subsidiaries have given policyholders the opportunity to focus on recovery, not financial stress. Aflac Life Insurance Japan is the leading provider of medical and cancer insurance in Japan where it insures 1 in 4 households. Through its trailblazing One Day PaySM initiative in the United States, for eligible claims, Aflac can process, approve and electronically send funds to claimants for quick access to cash in just one business day. For 13 consecutive years, Aflac has been recognized by Ethisphere as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies. Fortune magazine has recognized Aflac as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work for in America for 20 consecutive years and in 2019 Fortune included Aflac on its list of World’s Most Admired Companies for the 18th time. To find out more about One Day PaySM and learn how to get help with expenses health insurance doesn’t cover, get to know us at aflac.com. Aflac herein means American Family Life Assurance Company of Columbus and American Family Life Assurance Company of New York.
American International Group, Inc. (NYSE: AIG) is a leading global insurance organization. Building on 100 years of experience, today AIG member companies provide a wide range of property casualty insurance, life insurance, retirement solutions, and other financial services to customers in more than 80 countries and jurisdictions. These diverse offerings include products and services that help businesses and individuals protect their assets, manage risks and provide for retirement security. Additional information about AIG can be found at www.aig.com. References to additional information about AIG have been provided as a convenience, and the information contained on such website is not incorporated by reference into this press release.