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Ares, GE Capital Announce $114MM Increase to Support LGC Acquisition

April 23, 2015, 07:14 AM
Filed Under: Life Sciences

Ares Management, L.P. and GE Capital announced today that the European Loan Programme (ELP), a €3.0 billion joint venture between affiliates of the two firms that provides senior secured loans to upper middle market corporate borrowers, has completed its second investment. The joint venture has made an anchor investment in $114 million of additional senior term facilities, including loans to fund the acquisition of Biosearch Technologies, a global leader in the genomics and life sciences industries, by Bridgepoint-owned LGC, an international life sciences measurement and testing company.
Mike Dennis, Partner in the Direct Lending Group at Ares Management, said: “We were impressed by LGC’s longstanding reputation in the market for providing best-in-class services to its customers and are delighted to support this transformational acquisition through the ELP. This transaction demonstrates the ELP’s ability to provide scaled financing solutions across a variety of currencies.”

Dan Matthews, Managing Director at GE Capital, said: “We are delighted to be able to provide LGC with a significant commitment from the ELP. GE Capital is an existing lender to LGC and has seen the business grow strongly both through organic growth and acquisition over several years. The ELP is an attractive financing option for growth businesses looking to raise incremental debt tranches that sit alongside their existing facilities.”

The ELP builds upon the successful partnerships between Ares Management and GE Capital in their Senior Secured Loan Program (SSLP) and European Secured Loan Programme (ESSLP) joint ventures that provide unitranche loans to middle market companies in both the U.S. and Europe. These joint ventures, together with the ELP, had a total of approximately €14 billion of committed capital as of December 31, 2014. The ELP made its first investment in March 2015 with an anchor investment in a £205 million senior term loan to fund KKR’s acquisition of the Trainline, the UK’s market leading retailer of online train tickets.

Specifically, the ELP targets a lead anchor investor role in the senior debt of upper middle market companies in primary deals including new buyouts, refinancings, acquisition financing and recapitalizations. The ELP can hold up to €150 million in any transaction, with the ability to potentially scale larger. The ELP offers borrowers a broad array of advantages including reducing execution and underwriting risk given its large hold size, its ability to invest in a wide range of currencies and not requiring the borrower to obtain a rating from a rating agency.

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