Daily News: June 26, 2012

Crescent Capital Launches Lower Middle-Market Lending Strategy

Crescent Capital Group LP, a manager in the below investment grade credit markets managing approximately $10 billion in assets, announced that it has launched a new investment strategy focused on lending to private U.S. lower middle-market companies. John Bowman and Scott Carpenter, both managing directors of Crescent Capital, will lead Crescent Direct Lending.

Previously, Bowman and Carpenter were founding managing directors of HighPoint Capital Management, LLC, a cash-flow lender to private U.S. lower middle-market companies. Crescent Direct Lending will be located in the firm’s newly opened Boston office.

As a result of adding this new strategy, Crescent will be able to serve the borrowing needs of a greater range of companies with EBITDA from $3 million to more than $1 billion. When Crescent was founded almost 20 years ago, the firm provided loans in what is now considered the lower middle-market, but as the market grew along with the size of offerings, Crescent also saw its lending targets rise. The new strategy allows Crescent to be a full-service provider to the entire spectrum of below investment grade companies through a variety of direct lending vehicles that the firm will be raising.

“Our firm has always been dedicated to providing capital to help grow middle market companies, in some cases, into multi-billion dollar enterprises. We feel very fortunate to have been able to attract John and Scott, as well as their team, to help address the access to capital needs of middle market companies in this capital constrained environment,” said Mark Attanasio, co-founder and managing partner of Crescent Capital. “We also firmly believe that with our ability to price and structure transactions, this new strategy will offer another opportunity for our investors to obtain the kind of consistent returns they have come to expect from Crescent.”

“Jean-Marc Chapus and Mark Attanasio have built one of the leading alternative asset management firms specializing in below investment grade debt securities in North America, and we are excited to extend the firm’s offering to all companies looking for capital to grow their businesses,” said Bowman. “We feel the timing of the deal is highly advantageous, since there has not been a time in the more than 25 years that I have known Jean-Marc and Mark that lower-middle market companies have been so underserved, in part as a result of the recent economic downturn as well as a regulatory environment that has caused traditional lenders like commercial banks to pull back. We see this as a long-term, sustainable trend that has created significant opportunity for firms like Crescent to provide capital to this sector.”

“As a part of Crescent, we look forward to better serving our lower-middle market borrowers and sponsor clients as we form new pools of capital to assist them in building out their businesses,” said Carpenter. “We are also very excited about providing Crescent’s clients an additional investment opportunity to generate attractive returns in senior secured debt products with relatively low-volatility characteristics.”