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GE Capital expands leveraged finance

Following its acquisition of Heller Financial in October last year GE Capital is expanding its leveraged finance operations in Europe. Heller Financial’s European Group, now known as GE Capital Leveraged Finance, will take on extra staff and increase deal flow.

Graham Randell, senior managing director, said the team had already recruited four new staff and could reach 16 in the next couple of months, twice the size of the original Heller team. He added that GE Capital Leveraged Finance would retain its mid-market focus, underwriting up to €300 million in a lead or partner deal position.The group is likely to hold a larger portion of its debt deals than under Heller.

Heller Financial’s European Group was launched in June 2000 and as GE Capital Leveraged Finance will continue to focus on supporting private equity sponsors and the investment banking sector. It will provide a range of financing solutions for leveraged deals, including senior debt, mezzanine and selective minority equity investments, as well as its fund investment programme. In the year before the acquisition Heller financed ten senior debt deals, seven mezzanine/subordinated debt deals, four private equity fund investments and made two direct equity investments, including the Focus Do It All Group.

Ron Carapezzi, US head of merchant banking, said: “The acquisition of Heller Financial in the UK will allow GE Capital to perform and excel in an area where it had traditionally only been moderately active. With a platform for growth established through a well-known and successful team, GE Capital’s long term commitment to the sector is assured.”