Ares Management Corporation has announced that funds in its European Direct Lending group served as the sole lender of over £1 billion of committed capital to Daisy Group, a leading independent provider of telecommunications, IT and cloud services to UK businesses. The financing, which is the one of the largest-ever private credit financing transactions in Europe, will refinance the company’s existing credit facilities and also support Daisy Founder and Chairman Matthew Riley in buying out one of the company’s minority investors. The transaction will simplify the company’s capital structure and provide additional capital to support Daisy’s future growth plans.
Ares first provided junior capital in 2014 to support the take-private of Daisy, which included a bank-led senior debt syndicate. Since then, Ares has been involved in a number of add-on financings for the company, primarily to support its buy-and-build strategy.
“This is one of the largest private credit financing transactions in Europe, which is both a testament to our longstanding relationship with Matthew Riley and the company’s key stakeholders, as well as the benefit of our scale, which enabled us to provide the entire financing solution,” said Michael Dennis, Co-Head of the Ares European direct lending strategy and Partner in the Ares Credit Group. “We have worked closely with Matthew and his management team for a number of years and on several transactions, which is key to our strategy of continuing to invest behind and support incumbent borrowers. In fact, of the €5.9 billion of European direct lending commitments we made last year, 59 percent involved existing portfolio companies.”
“Ares has been a major financing partner since our take-private and has supported us through a number of transactions. With the team’s renewed support, we have been able to simplify our capital and shareholder structure,” said Matthew Riley, Founder and Chairman of Daisy Group. “We look forward to continuing to exploit both the organic and inorganic opportunities that lie ahead in each of our four operating divisions, as we continue to grow our market share in the UK ICT market.”
The Daisy Group a UK-based independent provider of end-to-end business IT, communications and cloud services. The company bought Phoenix, a UK business continuity provider, in July 2015.