Ares and GE JV closes blinds firm refinancing

The €1.7 billion ESSLP programme has completed a three-part £113.5 million refinancing for UK blinds company Hillarys.

The European arm of listed investment manager Ares Management and alternative lender GE Capital have closed a £113.5 million (€143.5 million; $192.7 million) debt financing for Hillarys, a UK domestic blinds and window fittings company, via the pair's European Senior Secured Loan Programme (ESSLP) joint venture. 

The package, comprised of three separate debt facilities including a unitranche loan, will be used to refinance existing debt, the firms said in a statement.

Hillarys, which is owned by private equity group European Capital Limited, has been advanced an £80 million unitranche loan, a £26 million second lien secured loan and a £7.5 million revolving credit facility.

Owen Verrier Jones, head of mid-market origination at GE Capital International, said: “This latest transaction again demonstrates the benefits of scale, flexibility and ease of execution of our unitranche partnership. Our ability to offer both term and undrawn facilities has also helped deliver this financing in an efficient manner for the company.”

Mike Dennis, a partner at Ares, said: “By providing both the unitranche facility and a second lien secured loan in the same transaction with our partners at GE, we are clearly demonstrating our ability to tailor solutions to the borrower’s needs as well as our flexible and innovative approach to the European direct lending market.”

It is the ninth transaction to be completed by the duo’s €1.7 billion European Senior Secured Loan Programme (ESSLP) and the second in a week.

Last week they announced a €47 million unitranche financing backing Thoma Bravo-owned Infovista, a French IT firm. More than half of the capital from the ESSLP programme has now been deployed.