European Loan Programme in $395.3 mln loan for KKR’s theTrainline buy

The European Loan Programme has provided a 265 million pound (US$395.3 mln) loan to fund KKR’s buy of theTrainline.  London-based theTrainline is an online platform to sell rail tickets to consumers. The European Loan Programme is a joint venture between Ares Management and GE Capital.  The ELP provides senior debt financing to upper middle market European companies.

PRESS RELEASE

LONDON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Ares Management (NYSE: ARES) and GE Capital announced today that the European Loan Programme (ELP), a €3.0 billion joint venture between affiliates of the two global institutions that provides senior secured loans to upper middle market corporate borrowers has completed its first investment. The joint venture has made an anchor investment in a £205 million senior term loan to fund KKR’s acquisition of theTrainline, the UK’s market leading retailer of online train tickets. The financing package also includes a £60 million revolving credit facility.

Blair Jacobson, Partner in the Direct Lending Group at Ares Management, said: “We are delighted to have been selected by KKR to make an anchor investment in the debt financing of Trainline through the new ELP. Ares Management is an existing lender to Trainline having supported Exponent’s refinancing of the business in 2013. We have been impressed with the management team and the growth trajectory of the business during our investment period and look forward to supporting its continued growth under KKR’s ownership.”

Chris Fowler, Executive Director at GE Capital, said: “We were impressed with theTrainline’s market leading position and highly predictable business model and are excited to support the company under its next chapter of ownership. KKR’s experience of investing in online and digital media will help drive the continued transformation and international expansion of the business. The ELP is well suited to financings of this nature and can provide the company with significant capacity to support its continued growth.”

The ELP builds upon the successful partnerships between Ares Management and GE Capital in their Senior Secured Loan Program (SSLP) and European Secured Loan Programme (ESSLP) joint ventures that provide unitranche loans to middle market companies in both the U.S. and Europe. These joint ventures together with the ELP now have a total of approximately €13 billion of committed capital.

Specifically, the ELP targets a lead anchor investor role in the senior debt of upper middle market companies in primary deals including new buyouts, refinancings, acquisition financing and recapitalizations. The ELP can hold up to €150 million in any transaction, with the ability to potentially scale larger. The ELP offers borrowers a broad array of advantages including reducing execution and underwriting risk given its large hold size, its ability to invest in a wide range of currencies and not requiring the borrower to obtain a rating from a rating agency.

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About the European Loan Programme

The European Loan Programme (ELP) was formed by Ares Management and GE Capital in 2014 to provide senior debt financing to upper middle market European companies. The ELP is the third joint venture partnership between Ares Management and GE Capital, which now have a total of approximately €13 billion of committed capital. It joins the European Senior Secured Loan Programme (ESSLP) which formed in 2012 to provide unitranche debt financing to middle market European companies in order to meet the growing demand for one-stop financing to replace traditional senior and junior debt financing. 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 that was a pioneer in providing unitranche investments to middle market companies in the region based on that same market demand.