The Senior Secured Loan Fund, jointly managed by affiliates of GE Capital and Ares Capital Corporation, announced today the closing of a $53 million senior secured loan during the first quarter to support RLJ Equity Partners’ acquisition of Fleischmann’s Vinegar Company, Inc., a leading manufacturer and marketer of industrial vinegar in North America. GE Capital and Ares Capital Corporation served as administrative agents, joint lead arrangers and joint bookrunners. In addition, GE Capital, through GE Antares, provided a $5 million revolving credit facility in support of the transaction.
This facility represents the first Senior Secured Loan Fund transaction completed with Ares Capital Corporation as a partner. The Fund provided RLJ Equity Partners with a single debt tranche solution, which aided in negotiations and allowed the transaction to meet an aggressive timeline to closing.
“The unique characteristics of the Senior Secured Loan Fund product, as well as the executives who facilitated the transaction, were instrumental in expeditiously closing our acquisition of Fleischmann’s Vinegar Company,” Daphne Dufresne, Managing Director of RLJ Equity Partners stated. “We look forward to working with them and using this product in future transactions.”
“GE Capital has been a long-standing supporter of Fleischmann’s Vinegar Company under previous private equity ownerships. Their continued role, along with Ares Capital Corporation, as our lender reinforces the rich history and stability of the Fleischmann’s Vinegar franchise,” says Kenneth Simril, CEO of Fleischmann’s Vinegar Company.
Headquartered in Cerritos, CA, Fleischmann’s Vinegar Company, Inc. offers a full line of standard, specialty vinegars, and cooking wines for industrial use as well as retail lines.
About RLJ Equity Partners, LLC
Located in Bethesda, MD, RLJ Equity Partners is a middle market private equity firm that focuses on generating long-term capital appreciation through control or meaningful equity investments in profitable businesses where they are able to partner with proven management teams to enhance value and growth through a combination of strategic capital and operational insight. The firm primarily invests in North American companies with enterprise values between $50 million and $250 million and acquires control or meaningful equity positions through traditional buy-outs, recapitalizations, and growth equity infusions. Although their typical equity investment size is between $15 million and $30 million per transaction, they have the ability to pursue larger transactions in collaboration with their strategic partners.
About Senior Secured Loan Fund, LLC
The Senior Secured Loan Fund LLC was formed in December 2007 with approximately $3.6 billion of committed capital to invest in senior secured debt (including unitranche loans) of middle-market companies. The Fund is co-managed by GE Commercial Finance Investment Advisory Services LLC and Ares Capital Corporation. GE Capital and Ares Capital are currently able to make new commitments of up to $270 million in a single transaction for borrowers across a wide range of industry sectors. The Senior Secured Loan Fund structure benefits borrowers by virtue of its simplified documentation through a single credit agreement, greater certainty of execution and reduced decision-making complexity throughout the life of the loan.
About Ares Capital Corporation
Ares Capital (arescapitalcorp.com) is a specialty finance company that provides integrated debt and equity financing solutions to U.S. middle market companies. Ares Capital invests primarily in first and second lien loans and mezzanine debt, which in some cases includes an equity component. To a lesser extent, Ares Capital also makes equity investments. Ares Capital is externally managed by Ares Capital Management LLC, an affiliate of Ares Management LLC, a global alternative asset manager and a Securities and Exchange Commission registered investment adviser. As of March 31, 2010, Ares Management has approximately $37 billion of committed capital under management (pro forma for Ares Capital’s April 2010 acquisition of Allied Capital). Ares Capital is a closed-end, non-diversified management investment company that has elected to be regulated as a business development company under the Investment Company Act of 1940.
About GE Antares Capital
GE Antares Capital (geantares.com) is a unit of GE Capital, Sponsor Finance. With offices in Atlanta, Chicago, London, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco, GE Antares is a leading middle market lender, offering a “one-stop” source for GE’s lending and other services offered to middle market private equity sponsors.
About GE Capital
GE Capital offers consumers and businesses around the globe an array of financial products and services. For more information, visit gecapital.com or follow company news via Twitter (@GECapitalNews). GE (NYSE: GE) is a diversified technology, media and financial services company focused on solving some of the world's toughest problems. Visit ge.com/.
Ares Capital Corporation
Carl Drake, P: (404) 814-5204, E: cdrake[.]aresmgmt.com.