Antares finances travel agency buyout

The CPPIB-owned lender has arranged a unitranche package to support ABRY Partners’ acquisition of Denver-based Direct Travel.  

US lender Antares Capital has provided a $183.5 million unitranche credit facility for ABRY Partners’ acquisition of Direct Travel, a corporate travel agency. Antares, which was bought by the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) from General Electric in August, was the lead arranger on the package.

Boston-based private equity firm ABRY Partners announced its acquisition of the travel business earlier this month. The firm bought Direct Travel from its previous owner Silver Oak Services Partners, another mid-market PE firm. Evanston, Illinois-based Silver Oak had originally acquired Direct Travel in September 2011. The company has made 12 acquisitions since then.

“Direct Travel’s market position, financial performance and strong management team makes the company a welcome addition to our portfolio,” Sean Sullivan, managing director at Antares Capital, said in a statement. Sullivan is a TMT specialist who rejoined Antares in September, after spending six months at Solar Capital. He worked at GE Antares since 2004 prior to that.

Direct Travel, headquartered in Denver, Colorado, is a provider of outsourced corporate travel services serving small-to-medium-sized businesses in America.

ABRY Partners focuses on media, communications, insurance, business and information services industries. Since its founding in 1989, ABRY has completed $42 billion in transactions, representing investments in about 450 properties.

Antares Capital is the Chicago-headquartered provider of debt financing for mid-market, sponsor-backed transactions in the US. The firm has additional offices in Atlanta, Los Angeles, New York, Norwalk and Toronto. Antares has provided $120 billion in loans over the past five years.