AXA engineers record unitranche financing

AXA Private Equity, which has built out its private debt arm in recent years, has arranged what it claims is the largest unitranche financing in Europe to back the buyout of industrial parts supplier IPH.

French alternatives manager AXA Private Equity has arranged a €220 million unitranche facility to back Paris-headquartered buyout firm PAI Partners’ acquisition of industrial parts supplier IPH from Bahrain-based Investcorp. 

It represents Europe’s biggest unitranche facility to date, AXA said in a statement. Unitranche debt blends senior and subordinated debt into one, easy-to-use package which can make it attractive to sponsors. 

“Unitranche financing has become an important way for companies to finance future investments and enhance value creation,” said Olivier Berment, co-head of private debt and a managing director at AXA Private Equity, in a statement. “With credit remaining scarce and banks reluctant to lend, we expect the use of unitranche financing for acquisitions to increase throughout the year.”
AXA Private Equity has invested more than €700 million since 2011 via unitranche financings, making it one of the leading providers in Europe.
In 2011, its private debt team provided about €400 million in unitranche facilities to companies including Unither Pharmaceuticals, FDS Group and Biomnis. AXA PE claimed that represented more than two thirds of all unitranche issuance In France in 2011.