GE Capital International and Ares Management Ltd. announced today that the European Senior Secured Loan Programme (ESSLP), a €1.7bn joint venture between the firms, has completed its seventh transaction with the closing of a £153m unitranche facility to refinance Parkdean, a holiday park operator in the UK owned by Alchemy. Ares provided an additional £27m of subordinated debt to complete the £180m refinancing package.
This transaction brings the total commitments to more than €800m in unitranche financing provided through the ESSLP since the programme was launched in 2013. The ESSLP has provided financing to support private equity-backed businesses across Europe and spanning a wide range of sectors, including the recent refinancing of NoteMachine owned by Corsair and Montagu’s acquisition of Dutch Ophthalmologic Research Centre (D.O.R.C).
Owen Verrier Jones, Head of Mid-Market Origination at GE Capital International, said: “This latest transaction demonstrates the benefits of scale, flexibility and ease of execution of our unitranche partnership, which is becoming an increasingly popular alternative to traditional senior debt structures in the mid-market. Parkdean is one of the best operators in the market with a first rate management team at the helm. We’re delighted to support them as they look to further grow their business.”
Mike Dennis, Partner at Ares Management Ltd., said: “We are delighted to partner with both Alchemy and Parkdean’s management team on this transaction. By providing both the unitranche with our partners at GE and a subordinated tranche of debt, we clearly demonstrated our ability to tailor solutions to the borrower’s needs as well as our flexible and innovative approach to the European Direct Lending market.”
This latest deal follows the recent announcement that GE Capital International and Ares Management Ltd. were named the joint “Unitranche Lenders of the Year” for 2013 by Private Debt Investor. Parkdean were awarded Best UK Holiday Park Operator at the 2013 British Travel Awards .