Credit Suisse Asset Management’s Credit Investments Group has held a final close on $1.67 billion for its first direct lending-focused fund, the Private Credit Opportunities Fund. Including leverage, the vehicle will have approximately $3 billion to invest.
The fund, which has already deployed about half its capital, will provide debt financings across the capital structure, including secured first- and second-lien loans, unitranche financings and preferred equity made directly to upper mid-market companies in North America and Europe, the manager said in a news release. The fund will invest in loans that are generally larger than $100 million, a spokesperson told Private Debt Investor. She added that the fund can invest in any sector, and that its position on the broader credit platform would give it access to expertise in all sectors.
PCO seeks to generate “attractive risk-adjusted returns”. It will look at issuers with more than $50 million of EBITDA, the spokesperson said, but will generally skew higher in the portfolio. She said the investor base in the fund is largely institutional investors alongside some high-net-worth individuals. The fund is managed by the Credit Investments Group, which has built a dedicated private credit team led by Kevin Lawi.
John Popp, head and chief investment officer of Credit Suisse Asset Management’s Credit Investments Group, said the firm was pleased to close its first direct lending fund “launched to take advantage of the convergence between the syndicated and private credit markets”. He said the investor demand in the fund “validates CIG’s position as an experienced investor of choice” in the non-investment-grade credit markets, and that its ability to deploy significant capital “speaks to the breadth and depth” of Credit Suisse’s leveraged finance and financial sponsors’ franchise.
The fund is managed by the Credit Investments Group, which has built a dedicated private credit team led by Kevin Lawi. In February 2021, Credit Suisse Asset Management hired Lawi from Canadian pension PSP to bulk up its direct lending efforts. He was named managing director within the credit investments group, and a portfolio manager in the firm’s private credit arm, a source close to the firm told affiliate publication PE Hub. Lawi was charged with working with leading private equity sponsors and corporates to target opportunities. He also was brought on as head of origination and to focus on sourcing transactions across the capital structure.
New York-based CIG, part of Credit Suisse Asset Management, manages about $65 billion in primarily non-investment-grade assets. The firm said that private credit is a “natural extension” of CIG’s business of providing capital solutions to non-investment-grade companies in North America and Europe using the broadly syndicated market.