Ares and GE hit €1bn milestone

The European JV which primarily provides unitranche loans is almost 60 percent invested.

Alternative lenders Ares Management and GE Capital have made €1 billion in commitments by their joint venture, the European Senior Secured Loan Programme (ESSLP), according to a statement.

The latest commitment, the first upsized debt package provided by the programme, comprises a £120 million ($193.1 million; €153.3 million) refinancing of Notemachine, an operator of ATM machines across the UK and Germany. It is also a portfolio company of private equity firm Corsair Capital. 

The ESSLP, which typically finances via unitranche loans, originally provided Notemachine with a £76.5 million debt package in January 2014.

The upsizing will support Notemachine’s acquisition opportunities in the foreign exchange and payments services markets as well as continued growth in its core ATM business.

Mike Kingston, finance director at Notemachine, said: “When we decided to refinance at the start of the year, we looked to Ares and GE Capital to provide a unitranche financing package because of their flexible approach and commitment to provide follow-on financing. The ability to quickly upsize the debt facilities has been of real value, enabling us to move rapidly as we identify growth opportunities.”

The Notemachine transaction is the tenth from the ESSLP and means that around 58.8 percent of the €1.75 billion fund is now invested. ESSLP’s investments are made through the Ares European direct lending team, Ares Capital Europe and GE Capital, continued the statement.

Mike Dennis, partner in the direct lending group of Ares Management, said: “Today’s announcement represents an important milestone in our partnership with GE and is reflective of the significant and growing demand from European businesses for the type of financing ESSLP provides. We are also pleased to have been able to support Notemachine through its next stage of growth.”

Howard Sharp, head of origination & sponsor coverage at GE Capital, said: “Hitting our tenth transaction within two years of launching this pan-European programme highlights the strength of the partnership with Ares as well as the strong appetite from corporates, such as Notemachine, and their sponsors for flexible debt financing to drive growth.”