The European Senior Secured Loan Programme, a joint venture between Ares Management and GE Capital, has provided a £187 million (US$293 million) loan to fund Montagu Private Equity’s buy of Open GI. Montagu announced in August it was buying Open GI, a U.K.-based supplier of software to the insurance market.
London, 5 December 2014: Ares Management (NYSE: ARES) and GE Capital announced today that the European Senior Secured Loan Programme (ESSLP), a €1.75 billion joint venture between affiliates of the two firms, has provided a £187M financing package to fund the acquisition of Open GI, a UK-based software company, by Montagu Private Equity. The acquisition was primarily funded via the ESSLP Unitranche facility, which provides flexible and deliverable financing solutions of scale. Additional second lien and working capital facilities were provided by Ares and GE, respectively.
This is the second ESSLP financing provided to Montagu this year. In March, the programme provided €110 million in unitranche financing, which enabled them to acquire Netherlands-based DORC Holding BV, a leading provider of innovative instruments and equipment for ophthalmic surgery.
The deal marks the eleventh transaction for the ESSLP since its inception in 2012 and brings total commitments funded to ca. €1.2 billion.
Michael Dennis, Partner in the Direct Lending Group at Ares Management, said: “This is a meaningful transaction for us for several reasons. It is the 11th financing completed within the ESSLP and is also the largest to date. The combination of unitranche and second lien financing in the same deal once again demonstrates the flexibility of capital that Ares and GE can provide.”
Ruud Kole, Executive Director at GE Capital, said: “This is our second Unitranche transaction this year with Montagu and serves to highlight the growing awareness amongst the sponsor community of the benefits of Unitranche funding. The significant size of the deal also underpins the ability of the product to provide a one-stop solution for large funding needs.”
The ESSLP has provided debt financing to support private equity-backed businesses across Europe that span an ever-growing range of sectors, including the recent upsized debt package for Notemachine owned by Corsair Capital, financings for Hillarys owned by European Capital, Infovista owned by Thoma Bravo, Parkdean owned by Alchemy and the aforementioned Montagu’s acquisition of DORC.
About the European Senior Secured Loan Programme
The European Senior Secured Loan Programme (ESSLP) was formed in 2012 to invest in the senior secured debt of European middle-market companies in order to meet the growing demand for one-stop financing to replace traditional senior and junior debt financing. The Programme is a joint venture between the Ares Management European Direct Lending team, Ares Capital Europe, and GE Capital. The ESSLP was modelled after the Senior Secured Loan Program (SSLP), the North American joint venture founded in 2011 between Ares Capital Corporation (NASDAQ: ARCC) and GE Capital, who have agreed to make available $11 billion to support North American middle market companies.
About Ares Management
Ares Management, L.P. (NYSE: ARES) is a leading global alternative asset manager with approximately $79 billion of assets under management and approximately 700 employees in more than 15 offices in the United States, Europe and Asia as of June 30, 2014. Since its inception in 1997, Ares has adhered to a disciplined investment philosophy that focuses on delivering strong risk-adjusted investment returns throughout market cycles. Ares believes each of its four distinct but complementary investment groups in Tradable Credit, Direct Lending, Private Equity and Real Estate is a market leader based on assets under management and investment performance. Ares was built upon the fundamental principle that each group benefits from being part of the greater whole. For more information, please visit www.aresmgmt.com.
About GE Capital International
GE Capital International is a leading, global provider of specialist finance to the mid-market, with headquarters in London and serving customers from 30 markets across EMEA and Asia Pacific.
GE Capital International is focussed on driving growth in its core commercial leasing & lending products and markets. It provides mid-market customers with a wide range of financing solutions including accounts receivable management, inventory finance, asset backed lending, cross-border financing, leveraged finance, leasing/vendor finance and fleet management solutions.
GE Capital is one of Europe’s leading providers of leveraged finance for mid-market private equity backed transactions and has a leveraged loan portfolio in excess of €5 billion across EMEA covering 160 companies in the region. For more info, visitwww.gecapital.eu.