Korea’s POBA mandates three US managers

The Korean public pension fund has committed $150m across Golub Capital, Ares Management and Antares Capital.

Korea’s Public Official Benefit Association (POBA) has hooked up with Antares Capital, Ares Management, and Golub Capital Partners for US mid-market senior-secured debt mandates sized at $150 million in total, an investment officer of the pension fund told Private Debt Investor today.

POBA announced in November 2017 that the fund was seeking US direct lending managers with a focus on senior and unitranche structures, as reported by PDI.

The pension fund has committed $70 million to Antares Capital, a Chicago-headquartered investment management firm owned by the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB).

Antares’ latest fund will focus on private credit investments across corporates in the US upper mid-market.

The investment manager of POBA confirmed with PDI that Antares’ latest vehicle will mainly originate deals via private equity-sponsored transactions.

In 2015, Antares, GE Capital’s sponsor finance business, was acquired by CPPIB, according to a public disclosure from Antares Capital.

POBA has also committed $40 million apiece to Ares Management, a Los Angeles-headquartered alternative asset manager, and Golub Capital, a Chicago-headquartered mid-market lender.

“We are one of the first investors who committed to Ares Management’s new vehicle,” said the investment manager, adding that the pension fund has set up a domestic fund-of-funds vehicle via a Korean asset management company to hedge foreign currency risks.

Golub Capital Partners has also garnered $40 million from POBA via its latest fund, Golub Capital Partners 11, which held a final closing on a record $2.5 billion last month, according to PDI data.

Golub Capital’s latest vehicle plans to invest in private equity-backed businesses, targeting companies with $10 million to $60 million in EBITDA and will likely be composed of more than 400 loans at one time.

“We understand Golub Capital’s strategy as issuing notes on a quarterly basis,” the investment manager of POBA noted.

POBA targets US mid-market funds that have a seven- to eight- year life with a target internal rate of return over six percent per annum, depending on funds’ leverage levels, according to the investment officer.

POBA’s US private debt manager roster also included Guggenheim Partners, Medley Private Debt and Benefit Street Partners as of 31 January.