Apollo Global Management Inc. has launched a new direct lending platform that offers individual investors access to large corporate loans, making it the latest non-bank lender to try to take advantage of soaring demand for private credit.
The business development company, called Apollo Debt Solutions, has more than $1 billion of assets under management, according to a company statement seen by Bloomberg. The launch follows the investing giant’s purchase of the wealth distribution and asset management businesses of Los-Angeles based Griffin Capital last month.
“Individual investors have long been under-allocated to alternatives, and we believe this strong initial fundraise for ADS demonstrates the pent-up demand investors and their wealth advisors have for strategies of this kind,” said Stephanie Drescher, Apollo’s chief client and product development officer.
Apollo is one of several direct lenders looking to tap into different pockets of demand for private credit beyond institutional investors. Private-credit fundraising boomed to a record $195 billion last year, according to data from research firm Preqin Ltd., as investors seek higher returns. Direct lending funds, inclusive of senior, unitranche, junior and opportunistic strategies, drew the most cash.
Blue Owl Capital Inc. is targeting high-net worth investors in Canada for one of its U.S. middle-market funds, while Blackstone Inc. and Carlyle Group Inc. have also offered products for individuals to invest in loans to midsized companies that banks won’t touch.
As the private credit market has grown, so too has the size of the loans that the biggest players can offer.
Apollo last month agreed to provide a $4 billion loan to SoftBank Group Corp., the biggest deal of its kind in the private credit market. Back in 2019, it also backed New Media Investment Group’s purchase of Gannett Co. with a $1.8 billion loan, and made a commitment in 2020 to lend roughly $12 billion over a three-year period via a new private credit platform aimed at big businesses.
The new non-traded Apollo BDC, which will operate under the firm’s global wealth business, raised $657 million in net equity proceeds from the sale of 26.2 million shares, and will continue to sell shares on a monthly basis.