Ares closes on $4.4bn in direct lending in H1 2020

Lending activity remains brisk as the Ares Management Corporation’s Credit Group reported $4.4 billion being put to work in the first half of the year across 64 transactions.

The $165 billion asset management firm reported most of the activity in the first quarter with $2.7 billion in commitments. The second quarter was notably slower with approximately $1.7 billion across 24 transactions being completed.

Direct lending has been popular in 2020 among investors. Firms such as Alcentra built up its European team and Crescent Capital Group raised $1.7 billion for a specialty lending fund in April.

New York-based law firm Proskauer in a survey in April of over 100 of its private credit clients discovered that 86% were actively looking for new lending opportunities.

Ares outlined seven of its deals which involved growth investments made by other alternative investment firms including Thoma Bravo, TPG Capital, Pamplona Capital Management, Warburg Pincus, H.I.G. Capital and Blackstone.

Ares supported a senior secured credit facility for Thoma Bravo’s acquisition of Command Alkon, a provider of software and technology solutions to the heavy construction industry.

CSC Serviceworks, an outsourced laundry equipment service company that works with multi-family housing properties, received growth capital from Pamplona Capital Management that in turn worked with Ares in setting up an incremental senior secured credit facility.

Many of the transactions were related to purchases of healthcare-oriented companies.

In the case of TPG, Ares was behind a senior secured credit facility to support that private equity firm’s growth plans for Convey Health Solutions. Convey is a tech-provider for health plans.

Another software company transaction was with Blackstone in acquiring HealthEdge Software, a company that handles administrative processing systems for healthcare payors.

Then Labstat, a holding of Warburg Pincus, received growth capital from Ares through another senior secured debt deal. The company is a provider of chemistry, microbiology and toxicology testing services.

In the area of personal protective equipment, Supply Source Enterprises was acquired by H.I.G. Capital, which received a senior secured credit facility.

Lastly, Prometheus got backing from Ares and Genstar Capital to support its growth as a provider of plant maintenance and scheduling software.

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