Babson loan pool reaches $2 bln in active private lending year

  • Direct lending vehicles draw in $7.4 bln this year
  • GSO, Athyrium raise big funds
  • Oaktree Opportunities Fund hits $11 bln mark

Babson Capital Management has drawn commitments from 20 LPs for its new $2 billion global private loan strategy, marking the latest in an active year for credit funds.

All told, at least 21 private debt funds have raised more than $8.3 billion as of May 26, according to data compiled by Buyouts. (See chart of debt funds)

Among them, GSO Capital Partners drew in commitments for $1.94 billion for GSO European Senior Debt Fund and Athyrium Capital Management reached $1.23 billion for Athyrium Opportunities Fund II LP.

In terms of global fundraising for direct lending vehicles, 13 funds have raised $7.4 billion thus far in 2016, according to Preqin. In 2015, 59 direct lending funds raised a combined $39 billion, the richest year since at least 2010, according to Preqin.

Among credit-oriented buyout shops, Oaktree Capital Group’s Oaktree Opportunities Fund X, Xb reached $11 billion in April, ahead of its $10 billion target, after launching last year.

For its part, Babson Capital already invested about $900 million from its private-loan strategy, according to a report by Bloomberg, which cited people with knowledge of the matter.

The unit of Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co raised the commitments in about 12 months from LPs in Asia, Europe and the U.S., the report said. A spokesman for Babson Capital declined to comment.

All told, Babson Capital managed $231 billion as of March 31, according to its website. Its private-credit portfolio totaled $32.8 billion, including direct loans and mezzanine debt, corporate private placements and infrastructure, according to its website.

The firm also manages a $5.2 billion private equity portfolio including funds, co-investment vehicles, direct investments in financial services and Wood Creek, its real assets investment unit.

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