KKR deploys $500m in European direct lending

KKR has invested $500 million in eight European direct lending transactions this year. The firm has also completed the acquisition of ACP’s majority stake in Selecta after providing rescue financing to the company last year.

KKR has deployed roughly $500 million in long-term capital in eight direct lending transactions across Europe in 2015, the firm said.

The asset manager has made investments in the UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Spain and the Benelux region.

Among its latest deals, the firm extended financing to the Casual Dining Group, a multi-brand restaurant chain in the UK, which underwent a restructuring under Apollo Global Management last year. The group operates 290 sites primarily under the Bella Italia and Café Rouge chains. Since being acquired by Apollo through a debt for equity swap, the company has also bought the Las Iguanas brand.

KKR has also provided a loan to Sarquavitae, the largest elderly care operator in Spain. The company provides home care services and operates 81 nursing homes and 22 day care centres.

KKR declined to comment on the deal amounts.

Marc Ciancimino, member and head of European private credit at KKR, said in a statement: “Non-bank lending is becoming a more important feature of the €9.5 trillion market backing European corporates. We are seeing an increase in the number of companies looking for alternative customized lending solutions to support their needs.” 

KKR also announced last week that it had acquired Allianz Capital Partners’ stake in the Selecta Group, a coffee vending machine company. All conditions entered into between KKR and ACP in October 2015 have been fulfilled, including the consent of Selecta’s bondholders, the firm said.

Last year, KKR provided €220 million in payment-in-kind financing as part of a refinancing package for the company.

KKR is raising capital for its first direct lending fund in Europe, called Lending Partners Europe. The fund has had several closes and by the third quarter ending 30 September had raised around $556 million.

The manager is also raising capital for its second Special Situations Fund II, which had $1.69 billion in committed capital by the end of the third quarter.

This story was amended on 14 December to reflect that KKR provided €220 million in financing to Selecta last year.