Northleaf rakes in more than $1.4 bln for private credit program

Northleaf Capital Partners has raised more than US$1.4 billion for its global private credit program from “a core group of Canadian pension plans.” Northleaf also acquired a 16 percent stake in Antares Holdings, a financing solutions provider for middle-market private equity-backed deals, from Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB). CPPIB acquired Antares last year for US$12 billion. Northleaf, a Toronto-based private-markets fund manager, said its private credit fund, Northleaf Private Credit I, will provide investors with exposure to private credit investments, including senior, unitranche, second lien, mezzanine and subordinated loans, in North America, Europe and Australia.

PRESS RELEASE

Northleaf Capital Partners Raises More Than US$1.4 Billion for Global Private Credit Program

TORONTO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Northleaf Capital Partners (Northleaf) announced today the launch of its global private credit program, with more than US$1.4 billion in capital raised from a core group of Canadian pension plans. Northleaf’s global private credit strategy provides investors with diversified exposure to private credit investments and offers flexible debt financing solutions to privately held companies.

Northleaf’s global private credit fund, Northleaf Private Credit I, held a successful first closing and will provide investors with diversified exposure to private credit investments including senior, unitranche, second lien, mezzanine and subordinated loans in North America, the UK, Western Europe and Australia, with a primary focus on private equity-backed companies.

In addition, as part of the launch of the Northleaf global private credit program, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) announced today that a Northleaf-managed investment fund has acquired a 16% equity stake in Antares Holdings (Antares) from an affiliate of CPPIB Credit Investments Inc. (CPPIB Credit Investments). Antares is a leading provider of financing solutions for middle-market private equity-backed transactions and has facilitated more than US$120 billion in financing over the past five years.

“Today’s launch represents a unique and compelling opportunity for Northleaf’s investors,” said Stuart Waugh, Managing Partner of Northleaf. “Our private credit strategy complements and extends the principal investment strategies in private equity and infrastructure that we have developed successfully over the past 15 years. CPPIB has been one of our largest investment partners for more than 10 years. We are very pleased that our investment in Antares alongside CPPIB Credit Investments and Antares management will further strengthen that partnership while providing Northleaf with an opportunity to create significant value for our investors.”

This transaction enhances Northleaf’s established position as an independent, employee-owned global private markets fund manager which now manages US$9 billion of capital commitments on behalf of more than 70 institutional investors. Northleaf’s global private credit team has investment professionals based in the firm’s Toronto and London offices, as well as in a newly-established office in Chicago. The global private credit team is led by David Ross, an experienced private credit investor who joined Northleaf in 2016 as Managing Director and Head of Private Credit. Ross was previously with Sankaty Advisors (now Bain Capital Credit) as a Managing Director, Global Head of Sourcing, having previously served as Co-Head of Sankaty’s London office from 2009 to 2013. Ross is based in Northleaf’s London office.

“Northleaf has recruited a talented and experienced investment team, developed a strategic relationship with Antares, a market leader in North American mid-market sponsor lending, and held a successful closing for our first global private credit fund, Northleaf Private Credit I,” said Ross. “Across our global strategy, we are uniquely positioned to deliver strong returns to our investors and offer attractive financing solutions to private equity firms and companies in the middle market.”

Northleaf is a long-term private equity investor with a well-established global network that is complementary to Antares’ deep existing relationships with private equity sponsors in North America. Northleaf will also gain access to Antares’ market-leading origination platform as a syndication client of Antares’ capital markets group. As part of a broader strategic relationship, Antares and Northleaf will work together in developing separately managed accounts and other investment solutions designed specifically for Canadian asset managers, institutional investors and private clients.

“Antares has outperformed expectations since our acquisition by combining its market-leading origination platform with CPPIB’s access to capital at scale. This transaction will further broaden and diversify Antares’ investor base,” said Ryan Selwood, Managing Director, Head of Direct Private Equity, CPPIB. “CPPIB is fully committed to its highly strategic platform investment in Antares and will remain its largest shareholder. We look forward to partnering with Northleaf to fund the continued expansion of Antares’ assets in order to meet demand from an expanding and increasingly global group of institutional clients.”

“This important transaction reflects investor interest in Antares as a significant entry point into middle market private credit,” said David Brackett, Managing Partner and Co-CEO of Antares Capital. “Northleaf’s investment in Antares, following their independent due diligence and evaluation of our firm, is a clear sign of confidence in our track record in the market and the successful execution of our transition to an independent business. Expanding our asset management business has been a strategic priority for Antares since we became a standalone business. We’re excited to team up with Northleaf and its investors as we grow our asset base and expand our separate account programs.”

About Northleaf Capital Partners
Northleaf Capital Partners is an independent, employee-owned global private markets fund manager with US$9 billion of private equity, infrastructure and private credit commitments under management on behalf of public, corporate and multi-employer pension plans, university endowments, financial institutions and family offices. Northleaf has a long, well-established history as a principal investor in the global private markets and its current portfolios hold more than 200 active investments in 14 countries. Northleaf’s 85-person global team operates from offices in Toronto, London, Chicago and Menlo Park. For more information on Northleaf, please visit www.northleafcapital.com.

About CPPIB Credit Investments Inc.
CPPIB Credit Investments Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of CPPIB, is comprised of CPPIB’s Principal Credit Investments (PCI) group and its Private Real Estate Debt group. With investments and 39 professionals in the Americas, Europe and Asia, CPPIB’s PCI group focuses on providing financing solutions both globally and across the capital structure. The group makes direct primary and secondary investments including in leveraged loans, high yield bonds, mezzanine and intellectual property. PCI participates in unique event-driven opportunities, such as acquisitions, refinancing, restructurings and recapitalizations, and targets positions between US$50 million to US$1 billion in any single credit. The team underwrites on a standalone basis or with select partners depending on the investment opportunity. Since its first investment in 2009, the group has invested over C$30 billion in the global credit markets.

About Canada Pension Plan Investment Board
Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) is a professional investment management organization that invests the funds not needed by the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) to pay current benefits on behalf of 19 million contributors and beneficiaries. In order to build a diversified portfolio of CPP assets, CPPIB invests in public equities, private equities, real estate, infrastructure and fixed income instruments. Headquartered in Toronto, with offices in Hong Kong, London, Luxembourg, Mumbai, New York City and São Paulo, CPPIB is governed and managed independently of the Canada Pension Plan and at arm’s length from governments. At September 30, 2016, the CPP Fund totalled C$300.5 billion. For more information about CPPIB, please visit www.cppib.com or follow us on LinkedIn or Twitter.

About Antares
Antares is a leading provider of financing solutions for middle-market, private equity-backed transactions. Antares and its affiliates have offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Norwalk (Connecticut) and Toronto. Antares has facilitated more than US$120 billion in financing over the past five years. Antares was named 2015 Dealmakers of the Year and 2014 Lender of the Year by Mergers & Acquisitions. Visit us at www.antares.com or follow Antares Capital on Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/antarescapital. Antares Capital is a subsidiary of Antares Holdings LP.

Contacts

For more information please contact:
Provident Communications Inc.
Wojtek Dabrowski, +1-647-825-5009
wojtek@providentcomms.com

Photo courtesy of Reuters/Yuriko Nakao