Ares Management Corporation Closes £ 1.875 Billion Pledge to Ardonagh Group in Largest Unitranche Financing Transaction Ever

LOS ANGELES & LONDON – () – Ares Management Corporation (“Ares”) (NYSE: ARES) today announced that it is the lead arranger of a £ 1.875 billion funding commitment to The Ardonagh Group (“Ardonagh”) , the UK’s largest independent insurance broker, through Ares’ global direct lending platform. Ardonagh is majority owned by HPS Investment Partners (“HPS”) and Madison Dearborn Partners. In addition to the direct loan funds managed by Ares, other major lenders are the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (“CDPQ”), HPS and KKR.

The financing consists of a unitranche loan of £ 1.575 billion and a committed investment facility of £ 300 million. The combined commitment of £ 1.875 billion represents the largest unitranche funding ever. The financing will be part of the company’s overall refinancing to support its business expansion plans.

Founded in 2017, The Ardonagh Group has grown significantly through a series of acquisitions in 2018 that brings together the leading UK insurance brokerage brands including Autonet, Bishopsgate, Carole Nash, Geo Underwriting, Price Forbes, Swinton, Towergate and URIS. With over 100 offices and a workforce of over 6,000, the Ardonagh Group is active in distribution, wholesale, underwriting and services, forming the largest diversified and independent brokerage and underwriting group in the Kingdom. -United.

“We believe this is the world’s largest unitranche financing transaction ever, a testament to the quality of the Ardonagh Group, our long-standing relationships with HPS Investment Partners and Madison Dearborn Partners and the benefits created. through our global and large-scale platform, ”said Blair Jacobson, Partner and Co-Head of European Credit and Mark Affolter, Partner and Co-Head of Direct Lending in the United States. “We believe there is a significant need in today’s market to serve as a partner for companies in need of large-scale financial solutions and we are delighted to support Ardonagh in achieving its growth ambitions. ”

“This is a major transaction for the lending group in Europe. It will support the growth of Ardonagh over the next few years, ”said Luis Mayans, Partner and Deputy Head, Private Debt at CDPQ. “Over the years, Ardonagh has developed an attractive business model by bringing together specialist insurance brokers and leaders in their respective niches, and we are happy to offer them a financial solution that meets their needs.

David Ross, CEO of The Ardonagh Group commented: “The substantial commitment of this Ares-led loan group is a vote of confidence in Ardonagh and our management team. The structure of the unitranche facility and the installation of additional committed investments leave us well positioned to complete the next phase of our growth strategy and beyond. ”

About Ares Management Corporation

Ares Management Corporation (NYSE: ARES) is a leading global alternative investment manager with integrated businesses in credit, private equity and real estate. Ares Management’s investment groups work together to deliver innovative investment solutions and consistent and attractive investment returns to fund investors throughout market cycles. Ares Management’s global platform had $ 149 billion in assets under management as of March 31, 2020 with more than 1,200 employees in more than 20 offices in more than 10 countries. Please visit www.aresmgmt.com for additional information.

About the Ardonagh group

The Ardonagh Group is the UK’s largest independent insurance broker with global reach. We are a network of over 100 offices and a workforce of over 6,000 people. Formed in 2017 and following a series of acquisitions in 2018, Ardonagh today brings together top brands including Autonet, Bishopsgate, Carole Nash, Geo Underwriting, Price Forbes, Swinton, Towergate and URIS. Our understanding of the communities we serve, along with our scale and breadth, allows us to work with our insurance partners to deliver solutions that meet the needs of our clients.

About HPS Investment Partners

HPS Investment Partners is a global investment firm with approximately $ 61 billion in assets under management as of May 1, 2020. HPS was founded in 2007 and manages various strategies that invest in capital structure, from syndicated loans to leverage and high yield bonds to private trades. senior secured debt and mezzanine investments, asset-backed leasing and private equity. The scale and breadth of the firm’s platform provides the flexibility to invest in businesses large and small, with standard or custom solutions. HPS is headquartered in New York with ten additional offices around the world and has 145 investment professionals and more than 370 employees worldwide.

About Madison Dearborn Partners

Chicago-based Madison Dearborn Partners, LLC (“MDP”) is a leading private equity firm. Since the formation of MDP in 1992, the company has raised more than $ 26.0 billion in capital and made more than 145 investments. MDP invests in a wide range of industries, including business and government software and services; basic industries; financial and transactional services; health care; and telecommunications, media and technology services. MDP’s goal is to invest in companies with strong competitive characteristics that it believes have the potential for significant equity appreciation over the long term. To achieve this goal, MDP seeks to partner with exceptional management teams who have a solid understanding of their business as well as a track record of creating shareholder value. The funds managed by MDP are leading investors in insurance brokers, NFP Corp., The Amynta Group and Navacord Inc., demonstrating MDP’s experience in the sector.

About the Fund

The Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) is a long-term institutional investor that manages funds mainly for public and parapublic pension and insurance plans. As of December 31, 2019, it held CAD 340.1 billion in net assets. As one of the leading institutional fund managers in Canada, la Caisse invests globally in major financial markets, private equity, infrastructure, real estate and private debt. For more information visit cdpq.com, Follow us on twitter @LaCDPQ or consult our Facebook or LinkedIn pages.

About KKR

KKR is a leading global investment firm that manages several alternative asset classes including private equity, energy, infrastructure, real estate and credit, with strategic partners who manage hedge funds. KKR aims to generate attractive investment returns for its fund investors by following a patient and disciplined investment approach, employing world-class people and driving growth and value creation with the KKR portfolio companies. KKR invests its own capital alongside the capital it manages for fund investors and provides financing solutions and investment opportunities through its capital markets business. References to KKR’s investments may include the activities of its sponsored funds. For more information about KKR & Co. Inc. (NYSE: KKR), please visit the KKR website at www.kkr.com and on Twitter @KKR_Co.

Forward-looking statements

Statements included in this document may constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, which relate to future events or the future performance or financial condition of the Company. These statements do not constitute guarantees of future performance, conditions or results and involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ materially from forward-looking statements due to a number of factors, including those described from time to time in documents filed by the Company with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Ares Management Corporation assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained in this document.




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