Ares SSG raises $1.6 bn for third secured lending fund
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Alternatives asset manager Ares SSG announced the final close of its Secured Lending Opportunities (SLO) Fund III with capital commitments of more than $1.6 billion (Rs 11,900 crore), the firm said on Friday.  

The third secured lending fund is double that of the previous vehicle which closed in 2017.

SLO III is Ares SSG’s eighth fund that attracted investments from limited partners such as sovereign wealth funds, pension funds and insurance companies. 

The Asia Pacific fund will follow the strategy of its two predecessor funds, providing flexible capital solutions, primarily in the form of secured loans, to many promising businesses in the region. Ares SSG has already started investing from SLO III and approximately 27% of the vehicle has been deployed so far, the firm said. 

“We believe the need for private credit solutions in Asia is becoming greater than ever in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. Many banks are becoming increasingly cautious on new lending, and we believe we are well-positioned as an alternative investment manager to finance growth opportunities within the fund,” Edwin Wong, chief executive officer and managing partner of Ares SSG, said. 

Ares SSG raised $20 billion over the last quarter across multiple strategies, Michael Arougheti, chief executive officer and president of Ares Management Corporation, said during the firm’s earnings call.  

Arougheti said he expects fundraising in 2021 to exceed the $40 billion the firm raised last year, with additional closes across funds including Ares SSG’s sixth Asian special situations fund.  

While Ares SSG’s special situations funds focus on distressed assets and turnarounds, the secured lending vehicles make credit investments.

In India, Ares SSG’s most recent acquisition was  Altico Capital earlier this year.  

Ares SSG’s latest secured lending fund in Asia was raised at a time when the firm also marked the first close at $5.1 billion for its US senior direct lending fund, which is already in excess of its $4.5 billion target, Arouggheti said.  

In the US, Ares also saw strong demand for its second US junior capital direct lending fund, which raised $1.7 billion last quarter.  

Other funds likely to cross funding milestones this year include Ares SSG’s sixth corporate private equity fund, inaugural climate infrastructure fund, 17th private equity fund, and multiple real estate funds across US and Europe. 

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