Exclusive: ESO Capital eyes sixth fund

The firm is planning to launch its next special situations fund after closing its fifth on $250 million in November.

Special situations fund manager ESO Capital Group is expected to come to market shortly with its sixth fund, PDI has learnt.

“We are currently investing from the tail end of our fifth fund and expect to be in the market in the near future with our next fund,” a source at ESO Capital explained, although he declined to comment on the target or the title of the successor fund.

London and Zurich-based ESO Capital held a final close of $250 million on its fifth fund in November last year, after it held a first close in September 2013, a source close to the situation said. Eaton Partners was a placement agent on the fund, according to Eaton Partners' website.

ESO Capital recently provided a €32 million senior loan to Moventas Gears, a Finnish gear manufacturer and servicer of wind turbines owned by private equity sponsor, Clyde Blowers Capital, as announced in a statement on 19 February.

The loan will enable Moventas to refinance existing indebtedness, providing a stable capital structure with which to grow its business operations, ESO said. Terms of the deal were undisclosed. In January this year, the energy technology company split from Santasalo Moventas Group in a restructuring programme initiated in 2011.

Greg Beamish, director at ESO Capital, said in a statement: “Our funding will ensure that [Moventus] has the solid financial platform it requires to seek out new opportunities and further enhance its value.”

Arto Lahtela, chief executive at Moventas, commented: “The funding from ESO strengthens the Moventas balance sheet and ensures a more stable financing structure going forward. The funding was part of a wider transaction completed in January, where Moventas repaid restructuring debt to creditors and Santasalo, an industrial gearing company, was established as its own company. We are now purely focused on the wind industry, making no compromises on strategy and resource allocation.”

Jones Day and KPMG acted as legal and financial advisors to ESO Capital on the transaction, while SIA Group advised on the asset valuation. Moventas was advised by law firm White & Case.

ESO Capital Group, founded in 2006, offers financing options to European small and mid-sized businesses. Its target deal size is €10 to €40 million. The firm manages funds on behalf of institutional investors and has deployed around €500 million in capital since inception. It invests across the capital structure, according to its website.