Virginia Retirement forms $1 bln account with Antares for mid-market lending

  • Antares will invest the capital over four years
  • Firm has raised $3 bln, year-to-date
  • New commitments to GTCR, Spectrum also announced

Virginia Retirement System committed $1 billion to a managed account with Antares Capital to develop a portfolio of direct loans to middle-market companies, an investment summary obtained by Buyouts shows.

The $76.9 billion retirement system signed off on the commitment Oct. 20. Antares will invest Virginia’s committed capital over the next four years.

Virginia made the commitment through its allocation to credit strategies, which account for 17 percent of the retirement system’s investment assets.

A spokesperson said Antares raised $3 billion from outside investors this year.

Virginia declined to provide the terms for its $1 billion commitment. Antares declined additional comment.

Antares Capital, formerly the mid-market financing arm of General Electric, specializes in providing credit facilities to sponsor-backed companies. The firm boasts relationships with more than 400 PE sponsors and more than 400 mid-market borrowers.

Some of Antares’s recent deals include arranging a $670 million first- and second-lien credit facility for Bain Capital portfolio company Navicure’s acquisition of ZirMed, a healthcare technology company. In October, Genstar Capital’s acquisition of shareholder advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services was financed with a $460 million facility arranged by Antares.

In 2015, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board acquired Antares from GE in a transaction valued at roughly $12 billion. One year later, Northleaf Capital acquired a 16 percent stake in Antares from CPPIB.

Antares is led by Managing Partners and Co-CEOs David Brackett and John Martin.

Other Virginia investments

In addition to its commitment to Antares, Virginia also recently inked commitments to new funds managed by Audax GroupGTCR and Spectrum Equity, the investment disclosure says.

GTCR’s 12th flagship fund, which recently closed on $5.25 billion, raised $200 million from the retirement system, according to the investment report. Spectrum’s eighth fund, which raised $1.25 billion, includes an $85 million commitment from Virginia.

Finally, a new direct lending fund that Audax manages collected $250 million from Virginia Retirement System.

Virginia’s PE portfolio is valued at $7 billion and represents 9 percent of its assets.

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