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October 31, 2018  

Solar Capital Pitches Leveraged-Loan Vehicle

Private-debt investor Solar Capital is marketing a fund that would buy and originate loans to highly leveraged mid-size businesses.

The New York firm, led by one-time Apollo Global partner Michael Gross and former CIBC executive Bruce Spohler, is seeking to raise $750 million for the drawdown-style vehicle, SCP Private Corporate Lending Fund. Placement agent Park Hill Group is overseeing the fund-raising effort, with plans for a first equity close before yearend.

Solar runs some $2.5 billion via a mix of vehicles including two business development companies, an asset-based lending unit and an equipment-financing company. The business development companies focus on U.S. businesses with $50 million to $1 billion of annual revenue — often financing leveraged buyouts for private equity sponsors. Solar typically deploys $15 million to $100 million per deal.

The two BDC’s — Solar Capital Ltd. and Solar Senior Capital Ltd. — had net assets totaling $1.2 billion as of June 30.

Gross and Spohler founded the business in 2007. Gross previously served as chairman and chief executive of Apollo Investment Corp., a business development company managed by Apollo Global. Earlier, as a senior partner at Apollo, he oversaw debt strategies including Apollo Distressed Investment Fund. Spohler previously was co-head of U.S. leveraged finance at CIBC.