With dividend, SFW gets most of its money back on Gerson Lehrman

SFW Capital, after three years, has made back most of its money from its investment in Gerson Lehrman Group, sources said.

Gerson Lehrman paid out a dividend to its shareholders, which include SFW, people said. The distribution is the first for GLG under SFW’s ownership. Terms were not disclosed.

Owl Rock Capital Partners provided debt for the transaction, which included a $575 million term loan and a $40 million revolving credit facility, sources said.

SFW made its initial investment of $212 million in Gerson Lehrman in December 2015. With the dividend, SFW returned a majority of its initial investment in Gerson Lehrman to shareholders through the recap, a person said. SFW is the largest shareholder in GLG, the source said.

SFW isn’t GLG’s first PE owner. Silver Lake sold a stake in the company in 2015, when GLG was repositioning itself as a professional learning platform, the New York Times reported.

Gerson Lehrman was the first investment out of SFW’s second fund, which closed on more than $345 million in 2015. GLG has seen double-digit growth, sources added. The firm has made three additional platform investments from Fund II.

SFW Capital in November sold Spectro Scientific after more than seven years, making nearly 9x its money with the sale, Buyouts reported.

Owl Rock lends to middle-market companies, mostly in the U.S.

The BDC manager invests in senior secured or unsecured loans, subordinated loans and mezzanine loans and, to a lesser extent, equity-related securities and warrants, an SEC filing showed. The firm’s typical credit investment will have maturities of three to 10 years.

Owl Rock, led by former GSO and KKR executives, has been targeting up to $5 billion for a BDC vehicle focusing on middle-market tech companies. BDCs raise money through public listings, as well as borrowings, and then lend money to businesses.

Update: This story was updated to state that SFW is the largest shareholder in GLG. 

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