The Senior Secured Loan Program (SSLP), jointly managed by Ares Capital Corporation and an affiliate of GE Capital, announced today that it completed twelve financing transactions totaling more than $1.8 billion during the fourth quarter. Including refinancing commitments, the SSLP completed approximately $3.9 billion in transactions to middle market borrowers and private equity sponsors during 2011.
“SSLP’s ability to provide one loan to replace traditional senior and mezzanine debt financing allows for greater speed and simplicity. SSLP has become an instrumental tool for private equity sponsors and management teams seeking a full scale, flexible capital solution with no syndication requirement,” said Michael Arougheti, President of Ares Capital. “We look forward to continuing to fulfill the needs of the underserved middle market in the coming year.”
“The expansion of the SSLP in the fourth quarter of last year brought our available capital to $7.7 billion,” said Stuart Aronson, President and CEO of GE Capital’s Sponsor Finance business. “In 2012 this capital allows us to provide smart financing to help our private equity sponsors acquire businesses despite market uncertainty.”
Below is a brief description of four recent transactions.
Implus Footcare, LLC / Trilantic Capital Partners
GE Capital Markets along with Ares Capital served as joint lead arrangers and joint bookrunners in a $180 million senior secured term loan provided by SSLP to support the acquisition of Implus Footcare by Trilantic Capital Partners. Implus Footcare is an innovative leader in the footwear, outdoor and fitness accessories markets. In addition, GE Capital, through its GE Antares Capital subsidiary, provided a $40 million revolving credit facility in support of the transaction.
Driven Brands, Inc. / Harvest Partners, Inc.
GE Capital Markets along with Ares Capital served as joint lead arrangers and joint bookrunners in a $170 million senior secured term loan provided by SSLP to support the acquisition of Driven Brands by Harvest Partners. Driven Brands is the leading franchisor in the automotive aftermarket services industry. In addition, GE Capital, through its GE Antares Capital subsidiary, provided a $15 million revolving credit facility in support of the transaction.
CIBT Holdings, Inc. / ABRY Partners, LLC
GE Capital Markets along with Ares Capital served as joint lead arrangers and joint bookrunners in a $158 million senior secured credit facility provided by SSLP to support the acquisition of CIBT Holdings by ABRY Partners. CIBT Holdings is the leading global provider of expedited travel document processing services, including visas, passports and other ancillary travel documents. In addition, GE Capital, through its GE Antares Capital subsidiary, provided a $30 million foreign currency loan and a $10 million revolving credit facility in support of the transaction.
Penn Power Group / NGP Energy Technology Partners and Juggernaut Capital Partners
GE Capital Markets along with Ares Capital served as joint lead arrangers and joint bookrunners in a $66 million senior secured term loan provided by SSLP to support the acquisition of Penn Power Group by NGP Energy Technology Partners, Juggernaut Capital Partners and management from Ares Capital Corporation. Penn Power Group provides technology and services solutions to customers in On-Highway transportation and refrigeration, power generation, renewable energy, oil and gas, mining, construction and industrial markets. In addition, GE Capital, through its GE Antares Capital subsidiary, provided a $15 million revolving credit facility in support of the transaction.
About Senior Secured Loan Program
Senior Secured Loan Program was formed in December 2007 to invest in the senior secured debt of middle-market companies. The program is co-managed by GE Commercial Finance Investment Advisory Services, LLC and Ares Capital Corporation and transactions require approval by both managers. SSLP has $7.7 billion of available capital and can hold up to $300 million in a single transaction for borrowers across a wide range of industry sectors. SSLP benefits borrowers by virtue of greater speed, simplicity and certainty, with proven partners.
About Ares Capital Corporation
Headquartered in New York and with offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., Ares Capital (arescapitalcorp.com) is a leading specialty finance company that provides one-stop financing solutions to U.S. middle market companies and private equity sponsors. Ares Capital invests primarily in first and second lien loans and mezzanine debt, which in some cases includes an equity component. To a lesser extent, Ares Capital also makes equity investments. Ares Capital, which has elected to be regulated as a business development company under the Investment Company Act of 1940, is externally managed by Ares Capital Management LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Ares Management LLC. Ares Management LLC is a global alternative asset manager and a Securities and Exchange Commission registered investment adviser with approximately $46 billion of committed capital under management as of December 31, 2011.
About GE Capital
GE Capital (ge.com) offers consumers and businesses around the globe an array of financial products and services. For more information, visit gecapital.com or follow company news via Twitter (@GECapital). GE (NYSE: GE) works on things that matter. The best people and the best technologies taking on the toughest challenges. Finding solutions in energy, health and home, transportation and finance.
About GE Antares Capital
GE Antares Capital (geantares.com) is a unit of GE Capital, Sponsor Finance. With offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco, GE Antares is a leading lender to middle market private equity sponsors. GE Capital Markets has ranked #1 in the U.S. Sponsored Middle Market Bookrunner League Tables for three of the past four years.
About Implus Footcare, LLC
Implus (implus.com) is an innovative leader in the footwear, outdoor and fitness accessories markets with state of the art logistics, merchandising and marketing capabilities. The company’s brands include: Sof Sole (insoles/socks/shoe care), Sof Comfort (insoles), Airplus (insoles), Apara (insoles/socks), Yaktrax (socks/traction devices), Sneaker Balls (shoe care), Highgear (electronics), Little Hotties (warmers) and Perfect Fitness (fitness accessories).
About Trilantic Capital Partners
Trilantic Capital Partners (trilanticpartners.com) is a private equity firm focused on control and significant minority investments in North America and Europe, with primary investment focus in consumer, energy, transport, financial services, business services and healthcare. Trilantic Capital Partners was formed in 2009 by the former principals of Lehman Brothers Merchant Banking (“LBMB”), where they established LBMB, and now Trilantic, as a partner of choice for management teams, entrepreneurs and family-owned companies. Trilantic currently manages two institutional private equity funds with an aggregate capital commitment of $3.8 billion.
About Driven Brands, Inc.
Driven Brands, Inc. (drivenbrands.com), headquartered in Charlotte, NC, serves as parent company for the separate businesses: Maaco (a franchise-based automotive body repair and paint retail network); Meineke Car Care Centers, Inc. (a franchise-based automotive service and repair retail network); Econo Lube & Tune (a franchised chain of automotive repair/quick lube services); a franchised network of mobile services consisting of AutoQual, Aero-Colours & Drive N Style (specializing in automotive interior reconditioning and maintenance, paint refinishing and restyling services for Car Dealerships); and Tortal.net (developer of on-line training solutions for a variety of industries). Management team members serve on the industry association boards, the IFA and AAIA.
About Harvest Partners, Inc.
Founded in 1981, Harvest Partners, LP (harvpart.com) is a leading New York-based private equity investment firm pursuing management buyouts and growth financings. Harvest focuses on acquiring profitable companies in the business and industrial services, manufacturing and distribution, midstream energy and consumer products and retail sectors. This strategy leverages Harvest’s over 30 years of experience in financing organic and acquisition-oriented growth companies.
About CIBT Holdings, Inc.
Headquartered in McLean, Virginia, CIBT (us.cibt.com) is the largest global provider of visa and passport services. CIBT provides travel-related services to Fortune 500 companies as well as the leading travel management companies, tour operators, humanitarian organizations, and cruise line clients operating in more than 30 locations globally. CIBT processed nearly 1 million visa and passport requests in the last year. CIBT operates in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, Canada and Switzerland.
About ABRY Partners, LLC
Founded in 1989, ABRY (abry.com) is one of the most experienced and successful media, communications, and business information services sector-focused private equity investment firms in North America. ABRY has completed over $27 billion of transactions, representing investments in more than 450 properties. The firm is currently managing over $3.5 billion of total capital and investing out of a $1.6 billion private equity fund, $750 million senior equity/mezzanine fund and a $1.2 billion senior debt fund.
About Penn Power Group
Formed by acquisition in 1977, Penn Power Group (pennpowergroup.com) provides value added technology and services solutions for customers in On-Highway transportation and refrigeration, power generation, renewable energy, oil and gas, mining, construction and industrial markets through its brands: Penn Commercial Vehicle Solutions, Penn Power Systems, Northeast Energy Systems, and Western Energy Systems. Penn Power Group is headquartered in Philadelphia with 485 employees in 13 locations throughout the Northeast and West Coast.
About NGP Energy Technology Partners
NGP Energy Technology Partners (ngpetp.com), established in 2005, is a leading private equity firm that invests equity capital for growth and buyout transactions in companies that provide technology-related products and services to the oil and gas, power, energy efficiency, and alternative energy sectors. NGP ETP has $496 million in capital under management and is managed by investment professionals that have extensive experience investing in virtually all types of energy technology and a strong track record of identifying strong management teams and working with them to create significant value. NGP ETP is affiliated with NGP Energy Capital Management, a $9.5 billion firm that has been a leading investor in the natural resources sector since 1988. NGP ETP is headquartered in Washington, D.C. and has an office in New Orleans, LA.
About Juggernaut Capital Partners
Juggernaut Capital Partners (“JCP”), headquartered in Chevy Chase, MD, is a leading private equity firm focusing on middle market companies primarily in the business services and consumer products industries. JCP (juggernautcap.com) and its affiliates have managed over $150 million in assets since its inception in 2009. JCP provides capital for growth, recapitalizations, acquisitions, and buyouts.
Carl Drake, Ares Capital Corporation
P: 404-814-5204 - E: cdrake[.]aresmgmt.com.