Fledgling debt fund hits first close

Metric Capital Partners has held a first close for its maiden debt fund after eight months on the road, about a third of the way to its €300m target.

Metric Capital Partners, a specialist debt fund management business launched by ex-Towerbrook managing director John Sinik last year, has held a first close for its maiden fund.

Metric Capital Partners I held a first close last week, according to sources close to the situation, with about €100 million raised. Metric declined to comment on the fundraising.

The fund, which is targeting €300 million in commitments, was formally launched last June, the sources said. Macfarlanes is handling the legal side of the fundraising.

MCP I has already begun deploying capital, according to the sources. It is understood to have provided commitments to two primary transactions: one in the UK, and one in mainland Europe. Both deals were ‘event driven’ and involve a change of shareholder structure, a source said.

The firm’s “approach to fundamental credit analysis and due diligence” was cited by one investor in the new fund as key reasons behind its decision to commit capital. The Metric team also has extensive relationships throughout the sponsor and intermediary communities, the LP said.

“Small and medium-sized companies are too small to have an investment banking relationship with the likes of Goldman or Morgan Stanley. When they require capital, be it for growth, acquisitions, refinancing existing debt or due to a liquidity crisis, they often turn to their lawyers or accountants as their trusted advisors. Metric is well-placed to access these opportunities given the careers of its senior team,” the LP added.

Metric was founded last year by Sinik, a managing director at Towerbrook Capital Partners between 2008 and 2011. He previously worked as global head of leveraged finance at UBS.

Metric will provide debt to European mid-cap companies with enterprise values between €50 million and €500 million, Sinik said. It will invest in buyouts, growth and acquisition capital, liquidity facilities and rescue financing packages. Speaking to Private Equity International last May after the firm’s launch, Sinik said the firm would also build its asset base by buying existing loans where lenders are fatigued, forced sellers, or simply looking to reduce exposure to particular borrowers.

The Metric team is drawn from across the private equity and intermediary communities. Peter Cornell, former managing director and head of investor relations at buyout firm Terra Firma Capital Partners, and before that chief executive of law firm Clifford Chance, joined Metric as a partner and head of investor relations.

John Connolly, former global chairman and UK chief executive of accountancy group Deloitte, is chairman of the firm. Ex-UBS and Barclays Capital executive Giovanni Miele joined as a partner and head of origination. Two principals, David Scheurl (formerly of Deutsche Bank and MatlinPatterson) and Ilkka Rantanen (ex-UBS and Amanda Capital), round out the team.