Ares Management Corp said Feb. 26 that its European Direct Lending group provided a 1 billion pound loan to Daisy Group, which will use the funds to refinance its existing credit facilities. Daisy Founder and Chairman Matthew Riley will also buy out one of the company’s minority investors. Daisy Group provides telecommunications, IT and cloud services to U.K. businesses.
LONDON & LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Ares Management Corporation (NYSE:ARES) announced today that funds in its European Direct Lending group served as the sole lender of over £1 billion of committed capital to Daisy Group, a leading independent provider of telecommunications, IT and cloud services to U.K. businesses. The financing, which is the one of the largest-ever private credit financing transactions in Europe, will refinance the company’s existing credit facilities and also support Daisy Founder and Chairman Matthew Riley in buying out one of the company’s minority investors. The transaction will simplify the company’s capital structure and provide additional capital to support Daisy’s future growth plans.
Ares first provided junior capital in 2014 to support the take-private of Daisy, which included a bank-led senior debt syndicate. Since then, Ares has been involved in a number of add-on financings for the company, primarily to support its buy-and-build strategy. Daisy was founded in 2001 by Mr. Riley, and it has since grown both organically and through acquisitions to achieve a market-leading position as one of the leading IT, communications and cloud services providers to businesses in the U.K. The company now has approximately 360,000 indirect and direct customers, 2,100 partners, 4,000 employees, and more than 30 locations across the U.K.
“This is one of the largest private credit financing transactions in Europe, which is both a testament to our longstanding relationship with Matthew Riley and the company’s key stakeholders, as well as the benefit of our scale, which enabled us to provide the entire financing solution,” said Michael Dennis, Co-Head of the Ares European direct lending strategy and Partner in the Ares Credit Group. “We have worked closely with Matthew and his management team for a number of years and on several transactions, which is key to our strategy of continuing to invest behind and support incumbent borrowers. In fact, of the €5.9 billion of European direct lending commitments we made last year, 59% involved existing portfolio companies. Some of our other notable scaled financings have included Primonial in France and VetPartners in the U.K.”
“Ares has been a major financing partner since our take-private and has supported us through a number of transactions. With the team’s renewed support, we have been able to simplify our capital and shareholder structure,” said Matthew Riley, Founder and Chairman of Daisy Group. “We look forward to continuing to exploit both the organic and inorganic opportunities that lie ahead in each of our four operating divisions, as we continue to grow our market share in the U.K. ICT market.”
About Ares Management Corporation
Ares Management Corporation is a publicly traded, leading global alternative asset manager with approximately $130.7 billion of assets under management as of December 31, 2018 and 18 offices in the United States, Europe, Asia and Australia. 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 three distinct but complementary investment groups in Credit, 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, visit www.aresmgmt.com.
About Daisy Group
The Daisy Group is the U.K.’s #1 independent provider of end-to-end business IT, communications and cloud services. Working directly and through their partner community, they help businesses of all shapes and sizes bridge the gap between old and new technologies – from mobile to cloud, desktop to business continuity, broadband to security – transforming customer engagements and making people more efficient. Today the Daisy Group of companies boasts c360,000 indirect and direct customers, c2,100 partners, c4,000 employees, and 30+ locations nationwide. For more information, visit www.daisygroup.com.