GA forms credit platform with acquisition of emerging manager Iron Park Capital

GA and Iron Park had an existing relationship, having formed joint venture Atlantic Park in 2020.

  • GA and Iron Park formed credit JV Atlantic Park in 2020
  • Deal is expected to close in first quarter
  • Iron Park sold a minority stake to Hunter Point Capital

General Atlantic agreed to buy ex-GSO executive Tripp Smith’s credit shop, Iron Park Capital, to create General Atlantic Credit.

Smith will continue on as CEO of the platform. He formed Iron Park in 2019. The firm will expand GA’s credit offerings with its funds that invest in both public and private credit. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter, subject to requisite investor consents, regulatory approval, signing of definitive documents and other closing conditions.

GA and Iron Park had an existing relationship, having formed joint venture Atlantic Park in 2020. Atlantic Park provides structured equity and debt financing to support M&A, refinancing, recapitalization and growth initiatives. The joint venture to date committed more than $2.2 billion to 13 companies.

“We believe that Iron Park’s experience in public and private credit strategies, combined with General Atlantic’s global platform and sector expertise, creates a distinct advantage,” said Bill Ford, chairman and CEO of General Atlantic in a statement.

The GA Credit team includes nine managing directors and 18 additional investment professionals based in New York and London.

GA’s agreed acquisition comes after Iron Park sold a minority stake to Hunter Point Capital, co-led by Smith’s former GSO colleague Bennett Goodman, announced in January.

The size of private credit has grown on average 13.5% annually over the last decade[1], with the total levered credit market now representing a more than $3.5 trillion investable opportunity set for GA Credit[2]. Moreover, General Atlantic’s longstanding investing sectors – including Consumer, Financial Services, Healthcare and Technology – represent more than half of the leveraged finance market.[3]

“With the changing market environment, companies are facing complex business challenges at a pace and scale unmatched in many years,” said Tripp Smith. “We anticipate significant demand for partners with sector expertise, access to flexible capital and value-add capabilities.”

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. J.P. Morgan Securities LLC and Jefferies LLC served as financial advisors to General Atlantic on this transaction, and Paul, Weiss provided legal counsel to the firm. Houlihan Lokey served as financial advisor, and Kirkland & Ellis LLP as legal counsel, to Iron Park.