Daily News: May 16, 2013

Avenue Capital Provides Debt to Support H.I.G. Acquisition

Global investment firm Avenue Capital Group announced it has acted as sole lender and agent in connection with the debt financing of the acquisition of Freedom Finance Nordic by H.I.G. Europe.

Avenue said it also has made a minority equity investment in Freedom Finance Nordic alongside H.I.G. Europe, the European arm of global private equity firm H.I.G. Capital. The debt facilities provided by Avenue consist of a unitranche acquisition facility and a revolving credit facility.

Marc Lasry, the chairman and CEO of Avenue Capital Group said, “This financing was the first completed by our recently formed direct lending team, which provides an alternative source of debt financing predominantly to mid-sized European corporate borrowers with limited access to traditional lines of credit following the financial crisis.”

Peter Lockhead, who joined Avenue from Bank of America Merrill Lynch, is the portfolio manager leading the firm’s direct lending initiative in Europe. The team also includes Luis Mayans, who joined Avenue from GE Capital’s Leveraged Finance team in London, and Cliff Wagner, who was previously with Cerberus European Capital Management in London.

Avenue’s Europe Strategy is led by senior portfolio manager Richard Furst, who oversees a team of 22 dedicated investment professionals in London and Munich. Furst also serves as Avenue’s chief investment officer.

Freedom Finance is the leading Nordic unsecured consumer loan broker with operations in Sweden, Norway and Finland.