GE and Ares JV writes €115m cheque

The pair's European Senior Secured Loan Programme has backed Ergon Capital-owned Nicotra-Gebhardt with a new unitranche facility.

GE Capital and Ares Management have put together a €115 million unitranche package for Italian business Nicotra-Gebhardt.

The financing package will be used to fund Nicotra-Gebhardt's acquisition of Industrie CBI, as well as refinancing existing debt, the pair said in a statement.

The deal is the latest to be spawned by GE and Ares' joint venture, the European Senior Secured Loan Programme (ESSLP). The unitranche-focused programme has €1.75 billion of firepower, and is targeted at European mid-market borrowers.

The unitranche facility in this case made available undrawn and term facilities to Nicotra-Gebhardt, which is owned by Ergon Capital.

Chris Fowler, an executive director at GE Capital, said in the statement: “This deal highlights the strengths of unitranche financing as a compelling alternative to existing finance structures, particularly as traditional lenders may be scaling back their commitments. We were able to add value through the flexible structure, ultimately improving terms and reducing the overall cost of capital.”

Ares Management managing director Tyrone Cooney added: “Through the ESSLP programme, GE Capital and Ares have a healthy deal pipeline in place targeting the European mid-market. With M&A activity, refinancings and dividend recap activity from earlier in the year still being actively pursued, the outlook is healthy for 2014 and beyond.”