Ares Management Corporation (NYSE: ARES) (“Ares”) announced today that funds managed by its U.S. Direct Lending and Alternative Credit strategies served as the lead arranger and junior agent for $3 billion in asset-backed and operating company financing for Merchants Fleet (the “Company”) as part of the acquisition by Bain Capital, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (“ADIA”) and the Merchants executive team. BNP Paribas served as financing advisor and program agent for the financing.
Founded in 1962, Merchants is the fourth largest provider of fleet management services with over $2 billion in assets under management and over 175,000 managed commercial fleet units across North America. The Company has a differentiated business model focused on forward-thinking technology solutions, innovative fleet services and the proactive adoption of electric vehicles. The financing will allow Merchants' clients to continue to be on the cutting edge of commercial fleet through innovation and the development of new service offerings.
“As one of the fastest growing fleet management companies, Merchants is well-positioned to execute on its growth strategy and continued evolution of its fleet service capabilities,” said Scott Rosen, Partner in Ares’ Credit Group. “We look forward to working with the Company’s management team, as well as Bain Capital and ADIA, to capitalize on the significant opportunities ahead.”
“This transaction is another example of collaboration across the Ares platform, creatively combining our teams’ alternative credit investing experience in the asset-backed and leasing sectors with disciplined corporate underwriting to deliver scaled and flexible capital solutions to leading companies like Merchants Fleet despite volatile markets,” said Felix Zhang, Managing Director in Ares’ Alternative Credit strategy.
“We appreciate the support and flexibility that Ares provided,” said Brendan P. Keegan, CEO of Merchants Fleet. “We have been at the forefront of fleet services for 60 years, and this partnership will enable Merchants to further accelerate innovation, catalyze the EV revolution and fearlessly drive commercial fleet forward.”
About Ares Management Corporation
Ares Management Corporation (NYSE: ARES) is a leading global alternative investment manager offering clients complementary primary and secondary investment solutions across the credit, private equity, real estate and infrastructure asset classes. We seek to provide flexible capital to support businesses and create value for our stakeholders and within our communities. By collaborating across our investment groups, we aim to generate consistent and attractive investment returns throughout market cycles. As of March 31, 2023, Ares Management Corporation's global platform had approximately $360 billion of assets under management, with more than 2,600 employees operating across North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and the Middle East. For more information, please visit www.aresmgmt.com.
About Ares U.S. Direct Lending
Ares U.S. Direct Lending is one of the largest direct lending platforms in the U.S. As of March 31, 2023, Ares U.S. Direct Lending had $100 billion in assets under management and more than 180 investment professionals located in six offices across the country. Our strategy is to invest across the capital structures of both sponsored and non-sponsored portfolio companies in the middle market with a long-term, value-oriented approach. Our capital supports more than 500 portfolio companies spanning over 30 different industries with the ability to scale alongside our investments and to commit up to $1 billion in a single transaction.
About Alternative Credit
Ares' Alternative Credit strategy focuses on direct lending and investing in assets that generate contractual cash flows and fills gaps in the capital markets between credit, private equity and real estate. Ares Alternative Credit targets investments across the capital structure in specialty finance, lender finance, loan portfolios, equipment leasing, structured products, net lease, cash flow streams (royalties, licensing, management fees) and other asset-focused investments. Co-Headed by Keith Ashton and Joel Holsinger, Ares Alternative Credit leverages a broadly skilled and cohesive team of more than 60 investment professionals as of March 31, 2023. Aligning Ares’ investment activities with its societal impact, Ares and Alternative Credit portfolio managers have committed to donating a portion of carried interest from certain Alternative Credit funds to global health and education charities.
About Merchants Fleet
Merchants Fleet is North America's fastest-growing fleet management company, enabling the movement of people, goods and services freely and responsibly. From flexible funding, fleet acquisition and fleet management to vehicle remarketing, fleet consulting, fleet electrification, and the power of cloud-based fleet management platform TotalView®, Merchants serves as a single source for all fleet and mobility needs. Merchants is headquartered in New England, has its Innovation Center in the Chicago area, and serves fleet clients of all sizes throughout North America. Learn more at www.MerchantsFleet.com.
Jacob Silber, +1 212-301-0376