Antares Capital, led by Co-CEOS John Martin and David Brackett, has raised a collateralized loan obligation fund called Antares CLO 2017-1 Ltd marking the firm's foray into CLOs. The fund will invest in leveraged loans to middle market private equity-backed companies.

The fund, which is valued at $2.1 billion, has received capital from banks, pension funds, insurance companies and asset managers. “This is a meaningful step in continuing to diversify our funding sources while providing investors access to middle market private debt, an increasingly attractive sector,” says Antares CFO Barry Giarraputo. The fund is the largest CLO raised in the U.S. since 2006, according to the Chicago-based firm. Antares expects middle market lending to pick up, thanks to a healthy M&A market.

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