Audax raises $825m for unitranche, stretch-senior loans

The firm has surpassed the $500m raised for a previous senior debt vehicle that closed in 2016.

The Audax Group has held an initial close on its latest credit fund, surpassing the total for a recent senior debt fund with a similar investment mandate.

The New York-based firm has rounded up $825 million for Audax Direct Lending Solutions (DLS), according to a source familiar with the situation. The vehicle will extend stretch-senior and unitranche loans, primarily targeting US mid-market leveraged buyout transactions, according to notes from the Virginia Retirement System.

Limited partners allocating money to the seven-year fund include the VRS ($250 million) and the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation ($125 million). VRS has invested in Audax private equity funds before, while APFC is repeat Audax credit investor, having committed to Audax Mezzanine Fund III, which raised $1 billion, and Fund IV, which garnered $1.2 billion.

An Audax representative could not be reached for comment.

The DLS vehicle has already raised more than a similar predecessor fund. Audax closed on $500 million in equity commitments in October 2016 for its Audax Senior Loan Fund III, beating the vehicle’s $400 million target. With $1.1 billion in leverage, the fund has investable capital of $1.6 billion. SLF III invests in first lien senior secured loans as part of leveraged buyouts.

Audax’s senior debt business, which includes unitranche investments, targets companies with EBITDA of $10 million-$50 million, revenues of $50 million-$500 million and total enterprise values of $50 million-$300 million, according to the firm’s website. Industries Audax invests in include: business services; chemicals; consumer; energy; healthcare; industrial; infrastructure and building materials; and technology, media and telecommunications.