Blackstone Inc. and Ares Management Corp. have provided a $2 billion loan to help fund the acquisition of Mimecast Ltd. by Permira Advisers, the latest big buyout to be financed in the private credit market that’s seen a surge in larger debt deals this year.
The loan will be in the form of a unitranche, which blends first-priority and subordinated debt into a single facility, according to a person with knowledge of the matter, who asked not to be identified because the details are private.
Representatives for Blackstone, Ares, and Permira declined to comment. Mimecast didn’t respond to requests for comment.
Permira agreed to buy the cybersecurity firm earlier this month in a $5.8 billion all-cash deal, and it’s expected to close in the first half of 2022. The agreement includes a 30-day “go-shop” period, where the firm and its advisers will look for rival deals.
The private loan for Lexington, Massachusetts-based Mimecast, which provides cloud security and risk management services, is the latest in a slew of giant-sized deals in the direct-lending market that has ballooned to more than $1 trillion.
Lenders in the market, who include standalone funds and credit arms of buyout firms like Blackstone, have been able to write larger checks as investors pour cash into the asset class in search of higher yields. Private credit funds raised a record $87 billion in the first half of the year, and added another $41 billion in the third quarter, according to data provider Preqin Ltd.
Sponsors are more frequently choosing to bypass Wall Street banks that have typically financed larger buyouts as they also like the speed, privacy and certainty of financing by going the direct lending route.
Among other large private loans this year was a $3.4 billion debt package to Galway Insurance that was used in part to fund the takeover of MAI Capital Management. Antares Capital led the financing, which included a $2.6 billion unitranche.
Blackstone, Ares, PSP Investments and the lending unit of Thoma Bravo provided $2.6 billion of debt financing to help fund private equity firm Thoma Bravo’s buyout of Stamps.com, while one direct lender has even said the market could support a $5 billion unitranche deal.