GIC deploys €1bn into European loans – exclusive

A dedicated team in London has been deploying capital into European large-cap second-lien loans and is also assessing opportunities in the mid-market.

Singaporean sovereign wealth fund GIC has deployed more than €1 billion over ten European deals via a recently established direct lending platform in London, PDI understands.

GIC has ploughed the capital into large-cap corporate second-lien loans, market sources said. However, the new European team is also assessing smaller mid-cap deals such as unitranche loans anywhere upwards of €40 million, one said.

GIC has been active in direct lending out of its Singapore and US offices for roughly five years but has stepped up activity after bringing on Peter Atkinson as a senior vice president in September 2014 to spearhead the initiative from London.

Atkinson’s previous position was as an investment manager at Partners Group, where he spent four years. He worked as an assistant director at Rothschild with responsibility for senior debt and mezzanine loans.

Varun Bahri is also part of the private debt team at GIC in London having worked both as an associate and assistant vice president since September 2014. More hires are in the pipeline, PDI understands. 

The sovereign wealth fund can write tickets of between €200 million-€300 million, indicating the sheer size of capital the private lender has to deploy. The investor has well over $100 billion of assets in over 40 countries, according to its website.

GIC declined to comment.

GIC has also closed a couple of real estate debt deals in Europe recently. In October, it provided a £90 million five-year loan to Maya Capital to refinance its portfolio of six office assets and in June it extended another £90 million five-year loan to student housing group Urbanest through its £1 billion joint venture lending platform with Laxfield Capital. Closer to home, it became an anchor investor in KKR’s new lending platform in India earlier this year.