RLJ announces $135m final close

The fund, launched by BET founder Robert Johnson, will provide subordinated debt, unitranche loans and minority equity to US companies. 

The RLJ Companies has closed its first credit opportunity fund on $135 million, according to a statement released by the firm last week.

The fund will be managed by RLJ Companies subsidiary RLJ Credit Management. The fund will provide subordinated debt, unitranche and minority equity capital in support of leveraged buyouts, strategic acquisitions, recapitalisations and growth initiatives for companies operating in the US lower to mid-market. The firm will likely invest approximately $10 million and up per transaction, according to the statement.

“RLJ Credit is committed to generating attractive investment returns for its limited partners by supporting US small businesses,” said managing partner Trevoir Gregg in a statement. “Lower middle-market companies are essential to the overall health of our domestic economy.  In addition to forming the basis for job growth and healthier communities, lower middle-market companies are very good areas in which to invest.” 

RLJ closed the fund with the cooperation of the US Small Business Administration. The fund is one of the largest minority-owned SBIC funds, according to the firm’s statement. SBIC vehicles.

The fund is managed by Gregg and RLJ Companies founder and chairman Robert Johnson, who previously founded the Black Entertainment Television network (BET).  In addition to its credit business, RLJ Companies also operates strategies in the hotel real estate, private equity, financial services, asset management, automotive, sports and entertainment and gaming sectors.