Wednesday 19 September 2018

Bain Capital makes Dublin credit arm HQ

Since its launch in Ireland, Bain Capital Credit, has lent close €500m and is on course to hit close to €600m by the end of the year. Stock image
Since its launch in Ireland, Bain Capital Credit, has lent close €500m and is on course to hit close to €600m by the end of the year. Stock image

Gretchen Friemann

Bain Capital Credit, the debt arm of the US private equity giant, has selected Dublin as the new headquarters of its European funds management operations, in a major coup for its local arm, Broadhaven Credit Partners, which is now expected to oversee a portfolio worth billions.

The move will see Broadhaven, led here by ex-banker David Cullen, rebrand as Bain.

Sources stressed the decision potentially paves the way for Bain to relocate the EU funds management arm of its far larger private equity unit to Dublin too.

It is understood the credit arm of the US buyout giant, once known as Sankaty Advisers, had considered shifting its EU funds to Luxembourg but opted to expand its Irish business instead.

Mr Cullen, now a principal on the Bain Capital Credit team, declined to comment on the firm's Brexit strategy but said "we are delighted to now operate under the Bain Capital name, one of the most respected investment brands in the world".

"We fundamentally believe in the potential the Irish market and we are keen to partner with businesses with good management and a compelling strategic plan, irrespective of the sector," said Alon Avner, head of Bain Capital Credit's Europe team.

Bain forged into the market in 2014, establishing a €220m fund under the Broadhaven banner in partnership with businessman Dermot Desmond to fill a lending gap left by retreating banks

Since its launch in Ireland, Bain Capital Credit, has lent close €500m and is on course to hit close to €600m by the end of the year, making it one of the largest alternative financiers in the State.

It recently injected €35m into the McGettigan family-run group that owns Dublin's Regency Hotel, ousting previous lender, Oaktree Capital, and enabling the hotelier to emerge from examinership.

Now, closer a alignment with its US parent could herald a fresh expansion phase as the responsibility for a vast funds management business transfers to Ireland.

Bain Capital Credit has hoovered up billions of euros worth of debt in Europe recently, amassing portfolios of soured loans from Spanish and Portuguese lenders. Last month it snapped up a €600m bundled of non-performing loans from Liberbank, a regional Spanish bank in partnership with the private equity firm, Oceanwood.

By contrast, its Irish acquisitions have been far smaller, typically ranging from €10m to €70m, although it has always had the option to tap the balance sheet of its parent for a meatier deal.

Bain is among buyers expected to look at AIB's vast Redwood portfolio, which is due to be launched within weeks. As this newspaper has reported, the partly nationalised bank is planning to shed close to €3.7bn worth of non-performing loans although a deal is expected to be struck at a far lower valuation of about €2bn.

Meanwhile, UK ship insurer Standard Club has plumped for Dublin as the location for its new EU subsidiary, the second specialist provider to opt for Ireland in the past two days.

North P&I Club, another UK regulated ship insurer, has also chosen Dublin for its EU base.

Irish Independent

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