GE Antares, which handled a large volume of lending deals in 2014, expects another strong year ahead. John Martin, president and chief executive of the unit, told PDI that he foresees more opportunities in the industrials and tech sectors and plans to continue focusing on senior and unitranche deals.
“Every day, we see industrials performing pretty well and the technology space is where we saw a pretty significant uptick in activity,” Martin said.
GE Antares, which provides debt financing for private equity-sponsored buyouts of mid-market companies, worked on 200 transactions totalling $27 billion in 2014.
“There is a whole confluence of items that are present, which I don’t expect to change, such as abundant debt capital and a reasonably healthy US economy, that are driving the deal flow. The combination of those factors will lead to still meaningful activity in the mid-market buyout space,” Martin told PDI. “So long as interest rates stay relatively low, we’re optimistic about the activity we’ll be able to see and the private equity sponsor base that we have,” Martin added.
Of the $27 billion lent by the firm last year, GE Antares closed $2.5 billion in commitments through the Senior Secured Loan Program (SSLP), jointly managed with Ares Management. Since January 2010, the SSLP has committed approximately $16.8 billion to mid-market borrowers, most of it in the form of unitranche loans, which are designed to facilitate simpler and quicker financing for borrowers that would typically require a more complex debt capital structure.
In 2014, GE Antares worked with 88 private equity firms, including 62 new relationships. “In 2014, our focus was on providing our clients with flexible financing structures along with consistent, reliable commitments,” Martin said in a statement.
2014 loan transactions included a$260 million senior secured credit facility to support the acquisition of Institutional Shareholder Services by Vestar Capital Partners. Headquartered in New York, ISS is a global provider of corporate governance solutions for large asset managers, asset owners, and corporations.
GE Antares also served as administrative agent on a $251 million senior credit facility to support The Pritzker Group’s acquisition of Technimark. Founded in 1983, Technimark is a plastic injection molder of packaging for consumer products and industrial components.
Another deal saw GE Antares agent a senior secured credit facility to support the acquisition of Gulfstream Services Inc. by The Jordan Company, in partnership with the existing management team. Founded in 1978 as Bayou Pump Rentals, Gulfstream Services is an oilfield rental tools and services company.
GE Antares is a unit of GE Capital. With offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, Toronto, New York, and San Francisco, GE Antares is a mid- market lender, focused on providing lending and other services to mid-market private equity sponsors.