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Moelis & Company Enters Middle Market With Freeport Financial Acquisition

October 03, 2012, 07:00 AM
Filed Under: Mergers & Acquisitions

Global investment bank and asset manager Moelis & Company is jumping into middle-market lending with the purchase of Chicago-based Freeport Financial Partners. Terms of the deal have were not disclosed.

Freeport Financial, which will continue to operate out of Chicago under the same name, has invested $1.47 billion in 79 platform companies since 2005. Principals Matthew Gerdes, Josh Howie, Stephen Papalas, and Joseph Walker will continue to manage the lending business.

Moelis is the latest outsider to enter the middle-market space. Middle-market loan veterans Ian Fowler, Brian Baldwin and Mark Flessner joined Babson Capital this summer to launch a senior lending platform, also based in Chicago. All three have worked together for years, first at GE Capital, and later at Freeport Financial, which Fowler co-founded. Babson historically has targeted private equity and mezzanine investments.

Last year private equity firm Kayne Anderson Capital expanded its middle-market strategy with the formation of Kayne Senior Credit Advisors, a new fund that extends senior secured loans to companies. Kayne Anderson hired Ken Leonard, Al Ricchio and Andy Marek to run the new group from Chicago. The trio co-founded Chicago-based Dymas Capital Management in 2002 and worked previously at GE Capital and Heller Financial.

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