Northleaf Capital Partners has launched a global private credit programme, with more than USD1.4 billion in capital raised from a core group of Canadian pension plans.
Northleaf’s global private credit strategy provides investors with diversified exposure to private credit investments and offers flexible debt financing solutions to privately held companies.
Northleaf’s global private credit fund, Northleaf Private Credit I, held a successful first closing and will provide investors with diversified exposure to private credit investments including senior, unitranche, second lien, mezzanine and subordinated loans in North America, the UK, Western Europe and Australia, with a primary focus on private equity-backed companies.
As part of the launch of the Northleaf global private credit programme, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) announced that a Northleaf-managed investment fund has acquired a 16 per cent equity stake in Antares Holdings from an affiliate of CPPIB Credit Investments. Antares is a provider of financing solutions for middle-market private equity-backed transactions and has facilitated more than USD120 billion in financing over the past five years.
“Today’s launch represents a unique and compelling opportunity for Northleaf’s investors,” says Stuart Waugh (pictured), managing partner of Northleaf. “Our private credit strategy complements and extends the principal investment strategies in private equity and infrastructure that we have developed successfully over the past 15 years. CPPIB has been one of our largest investment partners for more than 10 years. We are very pleased that our investment in Antares alongside CPPIB Credit Investments and Antares management will further strengthen that partnership while providing Northleaf with an opportunity to create significant value for our investors.”
Northleaf’s global private credit team has investment professionals based in the firm’s Toronto and London offices, as well as in a newly-established office in Chicago. The global private credit team is led by David Ross, who joined Northleaf in 2016 as managing director and head of private credit.
“Northleaf has recruited a talented and experienced investment team, developed a strategic relationship with Antares, a market leader in North American mid-market sponsor lending, and held a successful closing for our first global private credit fund, Northleaf Private Credit I,” says Ross. “Across our global strategy, we are uniquely positioned to deliver strong returns to our investors and offer attractive financing solutions to private equity firms and companies in the middle market.”
Northleaf is a long-term private equity investor with a well-established global network that is complementary to Antares’ existing relationships with private equity sponsors in North America. Northleaf will also gain access to Antares’ origination platform as a syndication client of Antares’ capital markets group. As part of a broader strategic relationship, Antares and Northleaf will work together in developing separately managed accounts and other investment solutions designed specifically for Canadian asset managers, institutional investors and private clients.
“Antares has outperformed expectations since our acquisition by combining its market-leading origination platform with CPPIB’s access to capital at scale. This transaction will further broaden and diversify Antares’ investor base,” says Ryan Selwood, managing director, head of direct private equity, CPPIB. “CPPIB is fully committed to its highly strategic platform investment in Antares and will remain its largest shareholder. We look forward to partnering with Northleaf to fund the continued expansion of Antares’ assets in order to meet demand from an expanding and increasingly global group of institutional clients.”
“This important transaction reflects investor interest in Antares as a significant entry point into middle market private credit,” says David Brackett, managing partner and co-CEO of Antares Capital. “Northleaf’s investment in Antares, following their independent due diligence and evaluation of our firm, is a clear sign of confidence in our track record in the market and the successful execution of our transition to an independent business. Expanding our asset management business has been a strategic priority for Antares since we became a standalone business. We’re excited to team up with Northleaf and its investors as we grow our asset base and expand our separate account programmes.”