Daily News: April 6, 2015

GSO Capital, Intesa Sanpaolo Launch Italian Direct Lending

Intesa Sanpaolo and GSO Capital Partners, the credit investment arm of Blackstone, entered into a strategic partnership to provide an alternative source of funding to Italian middle market businesses. The partnership will significantly expand the availability of private debt capital in Italy, enabled by favorable recent changes in the Italian legal and regulatory framework.

The collaboration will have a focus on both existing corporate clients of Intesa Sanpaolo as well as the broader Italian middle market corporate universe. The private debt capital will be provided to sub-investment grade companies for a variety of purposes ranging from growth capital, acquisition financing, to opportunistic refinancings. The private debt capital offering via this partnership will serve to complement the existing offerings of the domestic banking system and expand financing options for the Italian middle market corporate, where applicable.

The partnership of Intesa Sanpaolo and GSO Capital Partners Blackstone brings together two highly reputable institutions with a long track record of European credit investing, and has resulted from the long-standing existing relationship between the two firms.

Giovanni Gilli, head of Capital Light Bank, Intesa Sanpaolo, said “Intesa Sanpaolo considers the partnership with GSOBlackstone, an institution with a strong expertise and reputation in European private credit asset class, a significant opportunity to support its corporate clients. This brings an additional channel of long term specialized financing resources as a way to further enhance our dialogue with pre-existing and new corporate relationships.”

Tripp Smith, co-founder of GSO Capital Partners, said GSO is excited to partner with Intesa Sanpaolo, with its long heritage and successful long-term track record in Italian lending. It is a unique opportunity for us to access the Italian corporate mid-market given Intesa Sanpaolo’s incumbency and deep relationships across all sectors. Our ability to provide flexible and long-term private debt capital via this partnership will differentiate our two firms, and ultimately benefit the Italian corporate borrower.”