Ares, GE lend €47m unitranche to French IT firm

The €1.75bn ESSLP joint venture platform, set up by the two mid-market lenders, has now deployed half its capital.

NYSE-listed lender Ares Management and London-headquartered GE Capital International have provided a €46.5 million unitranche loan to InfoVista, a French software company, according to a statement.

The duo has now deployed €875 million, which is half of the capital raised, from its joint venture the €1.75 billion European Senior Secured Loan Programme (ESSLP). In what was the first unitranche funding programme of its kind in Europe, the deal is the eighth transaction since its inception in 2012.

Proceeds from the financing will be used to refinance the existing debt of InfoVista, a French portfolio company of Chicago-based private equity firm Thoma Bravo.

Michael Dennis, partner at Ares Management, said: “The European market continues to show strong demand for direct lending from middle market companies and their sponsors, and this transaction demonstrates the ESSLP’s ability to swiftly deliver cross-border financing solutions.”

The refinancing was led on behalf of Ares Management Aurélien Loszycer, Axel Cordonnier and Romain Goulet and on behalf of GE Capital International by Camille Frizon de Lamotte and Arnaud Gayet.

Camille Frizon de Lamotte, executive director at GE Capital, said: “This investment illustrates our ability to structure flexible financing solutions. Through the ESSLP, InfoVista will be in a position to continue its global market consolidation strategy as illustrated by its successive acquisition of Mentum in France and Aexio in Malaysia.”

InfoVista is a global provider of IP and RF planning, service assurance and network optimisation software solutions and services, enabling efficient network and IT transformations, the firms said in the statement.

Robert Syle, partner at Thoma Bravo and non-executive director at InfoVista, said that the unitranche loan “provides InfoVista with an extremely attractive capital structure to continue building the business through a variety of avenues.”

The ESSLP acted as mandated lead arranger on the unitranche loan. A spokesperson for the firms declined to comment beyond the statement.