Bain BDC teams with Pantheon for international expansion

A business development company owned by Bain will reach into European and Australian direct lending through the launch of a new platform.

Bain Capital Specialty Finance, a business development company managed by Bain Capital Credit, has formed a joint venture with the private credit business of Pantheon, the London-based alternative assets firm. The tie-up will allow the BDC – which, as with all BDCs, invests mainly in the US – to expand its mid-market direct lending reach into Europe and Australia.

Michael Ewald, Bain Capital’s global head of private credit, told Private Debt Investor: “In the US you could have a company that is considered relatively small in terms of EBITDA, but in Norway it’s a market leader. We don’t see any reason to cut off attractive geographies and just focus on opportunities in the US.” He told us Bain had entered discussions with a few other parties but concluded that a partnership with Pantheon “made the most sense”.

The joint venture will invest through a platform called the International Senior Loan Program, in which BCSF and Pantheon are committing capital and purchasing equity interests (70.5 percent BCSF, 29.5 percent Pantheon). ISLF will initially consist of around $320 million in investment principal of senior secured loans contributed by BCSF.

A statement said the partnership would provide BCSF with “enhanced balance sheet flexibility to expand its global capabilities and greater capacity to continue to invest in new senior secured loan investments to middle-market companies”.

Bain Capital Credit has more than $43 billion in assets under management and invests across leveraged loans, high-yield bonds, distressed debt/special situations, direct lending, structured products, non-performing loans and equities.