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Ares Management announces merger plan with Kayne Anderson

Alternative asset manager Ares Management announced today that it is merging with energy specialist Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors. The combination will be renamed Ares Kayne Management. The firms had a combined $113 billion of assets under management as of March 31.

Total consideration is $2.55 billion. Ares plans to pay around $1.8 billion with partnership units and the $750 million balance in cash, which will be funded with new debt, according to a presentation. The deal is expected to close around Jan. 1, 2016, subject to regulatory approvals.

The combined business will invest across five groups: tradable credit, direct lending, energy, private equity, and real estate. However, the two companies will continue to manage their existing funds and operate under existing brand names, according to a statement.

Ares Kayne will have roughly 450 investment professionals in more than 20 offices globally. Kayne Anderson alone has around 110 investment professionals in eight U.S. offices managing investments in energy and energy infrastructure, specialty real estate, middle market credit and growth private equity. Substantially all non-energy personnel will join Ares’ existing private equity, real estate,and direct lending groups, the firms said.

Both Richard Kayne, the founder and chairman of Kayne Anderson, and Ares chairman and CEO Tony Ressler will serve as co-chairmen of the new entity. Kayne’s president and CEO Robert Sinnott will become chairman of a newly formed energy group at Ares Kayne. Sinnott and Kayne’s Kevin McCarthy will join the board. Sinnott, McCarthy, and Al Rabil will join the management committee. Ressler, Michael Arougheti, and Michael McFerran will remain in their respective roles as CEO, President, and CFO. – Jon Hemingway

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Tikehau hires Goold for European CLO business

Alison Goold has joined Tikehau as a portfolio manager in its European CLO business. In this new position, Goold will report to Debra Anderson, head of the CLO department.

Goold joins from BNP Paribas, where she had been a director in the leveraged syndications team. Previously she had been head of corporate credit and a portfolio manager at AgFe, an independent advisory and asset management firm, and before that was a managing partner at mezzanine fund manager Carta Capital.

Tikehau recently priced its debut €354.7 million CLO through Goldman Sachs. – Nina Flitman

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Carlyle hires Wight for middle-market operations role

The Carlyle Group has hired Jill R. Wight for a newly created operations role focusing on the firm’s middle-market portfolio.

She joins Carlyle as a principal, based in New York. Wight’s experience ranges from company oversight to executive development.

Previously, Wight was a director in the special situations group at Goldman Sachs, where she had been since 2008.

Prior to that, Wight was a vice president at GSC Group’s equity and distressed investing group where she led portfolio operations. She also worked at Bain & Company and Marakon Associates.

Carlyle is investing in middle-market companies from the two funds: Carlyle U.S. Equity Opportunity Fund, L.P. I & II. Investments include Service King, ECi Software Solutions, Traxys Group, AxleTech International Holdings, and PrimeSport. – Abby Latour

Follow Abby on Twitter @abbynyhk for middle-market deals, leveraged M&A, BDCs, distressed debt, private equity, and more.

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Credit Value Partners expands middle-market lending with two hires

Credit Value Partners has expanded its middle-market loan origination team with two new hires from Metis Commercial Finance.

James Irwin had previously been CEO of Metis Commercial Finance. He was the founder of Metis. He previously held senior positions at Meridian Healthcare Finance and MC Healthcare Finance.

Daniel O’Rourke had been executive vice president and chief credit officer at Metis. He also worked at Salus Capital Partners and NewAlliance Commercial Finance.

The pair will focus on specialized loan origination and other direct lending opportunities, including asset-based loans, cash flow loans, and structured transactions.

Credit Value Partners makes loans of $5-50 million to U.S. middle market companies.

Metis Commercial Finance has offices in San Diego and Boston and is a non-bank direct lender to lower middle-market companies. – Abby Latour

Follow Abby on Twitter @abbynyhk for middle-market deals, leveraged M&A, BDCs, distressed debt, private equity, and more.

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SunTrust adds Cecil Brown to corporate banking team

Cecil Brown has joined SunTrust Robinson Humphrey as a Managing Director with the West and Southwest Corporate Banking team. He will be based in Los Angeles and will report to Keith Roberts, head of Corporate and Commercial Syndicated & Leveraged Finance.

Brown was previously at GE Capital in Los Angeles, where he originated middle-market leveraged loans across industries. Prior to GE Capital, Brown worked for five years in restructuring and debt capital markets at Evercore Partners. Prior to that, he was a Managing Director in leveraged finance at Bear Stearns.

“The hiring of Cecil further exemplifies STRH’s commitment to attract and retain the best bankers as we continue to grow and capture an increasing share of mind from our clients,” said Chris Wood, head of Syndicated & Leveraged Finance at SunTrust. “Cecil’s experience is representative of the broad product solution set that we provide to our corporate and sponsor clients. We are excited about this addition to our platform.” – Staff reports

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Capital Southwest hires Weinstein for middle market lending

Capital Southwest Corporation hired Josh Weinstein to source and underwrite for direct-lending and middle-market syndicated credits.

He joins as a principal on the investment team. He will be based in Dallas.

Weinstein previously worked at H.I.G. WhiteHorse, where he sourced and structured middle-market credits across industries for several credit platforms, including a publicly traded BDC. He also worked at Morgan Stanley and Citigroup.

Dallas-based Capital Southwest is a BDC that invests in controlling and minority stakes of private companies. Its shares trade on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol CSWC. – Abby Latour

Follow Abby on Twitter @abbynyhk for middle-market deals, leveraged M&A, BDCs, distressed debt, private equity, and more.

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Hayfin Capital Management hires Moravek for U.K. origination

Private debt fund manager Hayfin Capital Management has hired Paul Moravek as a managing director in its U.K. origination team.

Moravek, who begins work at the firm next week, joins from VentureFounders, a U.K.-based equity crowdfunding platform which he co-founded in 2013.

Previously he worked in leveraged finance at Merrill Lynch for nine years, having joined in 2004 from J.P. Morgan.

Hayfin recently bid farewell to two managing directors: Paul Levy, who joined investment banking boutique GreensLedge, andRinaldo Olivari, who left to launch his own financial technology firm.

Jeff Sockwell, also a managing director and co-head of origination at the firm had earlier left the firm in May to the U.S. He continues to be an advisor to the firm.

The moves follow a recapitalisation at Hayfin whereby the firm sold the portfolio of owned assets to Australian sovereign wealth fund The Future Fund, one of its shareholders. Proceeds from the €705 million sale were used to fund a dividend to investors. In a statement at the time of the deal in May, Hayfin said it would continue to manage the assets on behalf of The Future Fund alongside other third-party funds and separate accounts. Hayfin reaffirmed its commitment to its role as a European direct lending platform and said it would look to expand it across Europe.

The firm’s management team increased their stake in the business following the recap, while the firm’s institutional backers – private equity group Towerbrook Capital Partners, The Public Sector Pension Investment Board, The Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS), and The Future Fund – reduced their shareholdings pro-rata. – Oliver Smiddy

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Fifth Street Finance sells healthcare direct lender to rival MidCap

Fifth Street Finance Corp. has sold Healthcare Finance Group (HFG) to MidCap Financial, a competitor to HFG in direct lending to the healthcare industry.

“We decided that it was important to refocus FSC on our core lending businesses, particularly middle market sponsor-backed lending as well as technology lending and aircraft leasing,” a Fifth Street Finance Corp. statement today said.

HFG provided asset-backed lending and term loan products to healthcare companies.

As of March 31, HFG was the largest holding of FSC’s portfolio, accounting for 4.3%. The HFG investment totaled $118 million at fair value. HFG is an operating company with a portfolio consisting of individual loans to some 40 companies.

FSC acquired HFG in June 2013.

Fifth Street Finance Corp. is a business-development company that trades on NASDAQ as FSC. It is managed by Fifth Street Management. – Abby Latour

Follow Abby on Twitter @abbynyhk for middle-market deals, leveraged M&A, distressed debt, private equity, and more

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Jimmy Lee, syndicated loan market pioneer: 1952-2015

James B. Lee’s death earlier this week transcended the syndicated loan market, which he did so much to pioneer and establish in the late 1980s and early 1990s. In his time leading Chemical Bank’s loan team to prominence, Jimmy, as much as anyone, was responsible for putting the modern loan market on the map. He went on to become one of the most powerful deal makers on Wall Street as vice chairman of J.P. Morgan.

For those of us that grew up in the loan market, Jimmy was like Bobby Orr, a legendary athlete who seemed to play the game at a higher level and in so doing taught the rest of us new moves.

We at LCD don’t have much to add to the coverage that’s been in the press. Jimmy’s career has been well chronicled and celebrated. Still, we felt we should acknowledge his untimely passing far too early at 62 and express the collective sadness of the many people in our community that he mentored, touched, and influenced over the years.

Jimmy loved a good pitch, and in his universe the stars always seemed aligned for the next big deal. He was the ultimate rainmaker. – Steve Miller/Chris Donnelly

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EIG hires Rob Johnson to head oil & gas direct lending effort

EIG Global Energy Partners (EIG) announced that Rob Johnson has joined the firm as managing director and U.S. head of oil and gas direct lending, sources said.

Johnson has over 20 years’ experience as a leveraged finance banker, including 14 years in the energy sector. Prior to joining EIG, he spent 17 years with Wells Fargo, most recently as managing director and lead of the leveraged finance team for Energy & Power. He will be based in EIG’s Houston office.

EIG’s direct lending investment strategy is focused on directly originated secured loans to energy and related infrastructure projects and companies on a global basis.

EIG is a leading provider of institutional capital to the global energy industry having supported companies in the sector with bespoke financing solutions since 1982. It invests across the capital structure of energy companies, with discreet strategies focused on direct lending, mezzanine and structured equity, and control equity. EIG specializes in private investments in energy and energy-related infrastructure on a global basis and has $14.8 billion under management as of March 31, 2015. –Staff reports