General Atlantic, a $73bn growth equity firm, to buy Iron Park

Purchase will add to GA’s ‘experience in public and private credit strategies'.

General Atlantic, a New York-based growth equity firm, has agreed to acquire Iron Park Capital Partners, a New York-based lender, to form General Atlantic Credit.

Tripp Smith, Iron Park’s founder, will become the CEO of GA Credit. Terms were not disclosed.

General Atlantic’s chairman and CEO Bill Ford said: “Iron Park’s experience in public and private credit strategies, combined with General Atlantic’s global platform and sector expertise, creates a distinct advantage.”

Ford is confident that GA Credit will be attractive to businesses looking for support and investors. Its team will consist of nine managing directors and 18 professionals located in New York and London.

As interest rates have risen in recent months, investment managers trying to keep their deal pipelines full have taken an eclectic view of the deal landscape, and have often partnered, merged with or acquired lenders to that end. On the same day that General Atlantic announced this acquisition, Nuveen, the investment manager of TIAA, announced that it is buying Arcmont Asset Management, a European private debt investment manager.

Historically, General Atlantic, with $73 billion in assets under management, has invested in the consumer sector, financial services, healthcare and technology; together these sectors, as of 31 August, represented more than half of the leveraged finance market, the firm said. It has made 479 growth investments in its 40-year history and has more than 200 current portfolio companies.

Far from being strangers, in 2020 Iron Park and GA teamed up on a joint venture, creating Atlantic Park. Atlantic Park has since invested in both the public and the private credit markets and has committed more than $2.2 billion to 13 companies.

Ford said: “Over the course of our partnership with Tripp and Iron Park, we have developed a deep mutual respect.”

He added that their teams have originated exciting opportunities to provide strategic capital solutions to many companies.

They expect a closing in the first quarter of 2023, subject to regulatory approval and investor consents.