Babson Capital Forms Asia-Pacific PE, Mezz Team

Babson Capital Management has formed an eight-person private equity and mezzanine debt, focused on the Asia-Pacific region. Most of its emphasis will be on mid-market companies located in Australia and New Zealand.


Babson Capital Management LLC (“Babson Capital”), an investment management firm based in Springfield and Boston, Mass., and Charlotte, N.C., today announced it has significantly expanded its capabilities in the Asia Pacific region with the formation of an eight-member team to source mezzanine debt and private equity investment opportunities in the region.

Babson Capital also announced it has received an Australian Financial Securities License (AFSL), which allows the firm to manage a broad range of investments, including mezzanine debt, in Australia. Babson Capital’s Asia Pacific investment team, including four based in Sydney and four in Asia and the U.S., will focus on investments in mezzanine debt and equity securities of middle-market companies located primarily in Australia and New Zealand as well as select developed countries in Asia, including Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan.

“The Asia Pacific region offers attractive opportunities for profitable mezzanine investing due to the region’s strong economic outlook, increasing demand for mezzanine as a source of buyout financing, and a pullback by traditional investors in the marketplace as a result of the global financial crisis,” said Michael P. Hermsen, a managing director of Babson Capital who co-heads the firm’s Mezzanine and Private Equity Group and will oversee the firm’s Asia Pacific team. “Babson Capital is well positioned to capitalize on these opportunities with a team that has both deep experience in mezzanine and private equity investing and the established relationships with private equity sponsors that are needed to generate significant deal flow.”

Among the new additions to the Sydney team are Shane A. Forster and Adam H. Wheeler, who join Babson Capital as managing directors and will share portfolio management and investment sourcing responsibilities. Mr. Forster and Mr. Wheeler are joined in Sydney by Elliott Wong, director, and Adrian Ng, associate director, who came to Babson Capital when the firm assumed management of a AUD$200 million mezzanine debt portfolio they managed for an affiliate of Babcock & Brown.

Mr. Forster and Mr. Wheeler come to Babson Capital from AMP Capital Investors, a leading mezzanine provider in the Asia Pacific region, where they managed more than AUD$700 million in Asian and Australian mezzanine and private debt investments.

Working with the Sydney-based team, in addition to Mr. Hermsen, are Benjamin W. Silver, a managing director in Los Angeles, and Asia-based Adam Nowak, consultant, and Howe Wu, director.

Babson Capital’s Mezzanine and Private Equity Group was formed in 1992 and currently has a staff of 21. The unit manages directly or indirectly some $5 billion in mezzanine and private equity investments. The firm has additional European mezzanine and private equity capabilities in the Babson Capital Europe Limited subsidiary.

“Babson Capital has been investing with private equity firms in the Asia Pacific region since 2005 and we believe these prior relationships, in addition to the talent and personal relationships that our new team members bring to Babson Capital, will be valuable in securing access to high-quality mezzanine investment opportunities for our investors,” said Mr. Hermsen.

About Babson Capital

Babson Capital Management LLC and its subsidiaries serve institutional investors around the globe. Through proprietary research and analysis and a focus on investment fundamentals, we develop products and strategies that leverage our broad array of expertise in fixed income, equities, alternative, structured products, debt financing for corporations and debt and equity financing for commercial real estate. Based in Boston and Springfield, Mass., and Charlotte, N.C., with offices in New York City and Los Angeles, the firm’s subsidiaries include Babson Capital Europe Limited in London, Babson Capital Australia Pty Ltd in Sydney, and Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers LLC in Hartford, Conn. Babson Capital is a member of the MassMutual Financial Group and is on the web at