Praesidian inks two German deals

The European unit of US-based Praesidian Capital has carried out five deals over the last ten months, mostly for non-sponsored borrowers.

Praesidian Capital Europe has executed two first lien debt transactions in Germany, both of which included growth capital for business expansion, said Christian Heidl, a partner at the firm.

Earlier this month the alternative lender signed an €8.5 million five-year bullet loan with German medical tester Medical Laboratory Bremerhaven. This refinanced a small overdraft facility and some minority investors as well as provided the owner-managed business fresh capital for growth. 

Bremerhaven has a strong position in two German states, Bremen and Lower Saxony, Heidl said, adding that the extra capital will allow the firm to cement that position and expand into other regions by acquiring smaller laboratories and winning new contracts from local doctors. The medical testing market in Germany is fragmented and ripe for consolidation, Heidl added.

The facility is secured against the company’s receivables. Bremerhaven services around 650 doctor’s practices.

Signed on 1 July, the Bremerhaven deal followed Praesidian’s first lien bullet facility backing the acquisition of PlanetHome, a German real estate and mortgage brokerage business, which was announced in mid-June.

The real estate services firm was sold by HypoVereinsbank, part of multinational banking group UniCredit, to two private financial investors: US-based AP Capital Investments and Germany’s Deutsche Invest Equity Partners. The sale price was not disclosed but the debt facility totals more than €10 million, PDI understands.

Praesidian is the only lender to the newly independent PlanetHome and the acquisition and growth facility has a five-year tenor and non-amortising structure. DC Advisory ran a limited competitive bid process and Praesidian beat three or four other lenders to the mandate. 

Having a German-speaking team and flexible capital helped win the deal, Heidl said.

“We are excited to have found such an interesting and compelling opportunity in the German market. The investment broadens our geographic portfolio as well as underlines our investment mandate to support mid-sized business in their growth plan,” added Heidl.

Praesidian expects to reach final close on its European fund next month, PDI can reveal. The European unit is raising a sterling denominated vehicle which can also lend in euros. It can lend tickets of between £5 million and £15 million ($8 million to $23 million) or €5 million up to €20 million.

The fund invests in the UK and northern Europe with around three quarters of the deals expected to be sourced within the UK. When it was launched, the firm expected a roughly 50/50 split between private equity-backed and non-sponsored borrowers but of the five deals signed over the last 10 months, four have been sponsor-less deals, Heidl said.

Praesidian Capital Europe was one of the first managers to raise a commitment from the UK government’s British Business Bank. It allocated £30 million to the fund in late 2013. The vehicle’s first close reached around £96 million.

Praesidian Capital manages almost $1 billion in committed capital.