Ares started its European Direct Lending business in 2007, gaining a first mover advantage in a growing market that benefits from the continued supply and demand imbalance in European credit.
We seek to make self-originated debt investments in mid-market and large cap companies to support growth, acquisitions, refinancings and the changing needs of our portfolio companies over time, while maintaining control positions in the capital structures. We provide financing solutions with the flexibility to invest in first lien and junior debt in both primary and secondary transactions.
The Ares European direct lending team has six originating offices in London, Frankfurt, Paris, Stockholm, Amsterdam and Madrid. As of December 31, 2023, the European Direct Lending business has approximately 90 investment professionals managing approximately $68.3 billion of total assets under management ("AUM") in European credit products across over 300 institutional investors. As of December 31, 2023, the senior investment professionals of the team have on average approximately 23 years of experience in lending to middle-market companies in Europe.
The Ares European direct lending team primarily focuses on companies in defensive industries with high free cash flow. The team pursues a multi-channel origination strategy designed to uncover the best and broadest set of investment opportunities, sourcing deals directly from financial sponsors, companies, management teams, and advisors. We believe this multi-source origination strategy allows for greater asset selectivity and better long-term credit decisions.
From inception in 2007 through December 31, 2023, the Ares European direct lending team has completed over 350 transactions and invested over €60 billion through Ares Capital Europe commingled funds and separately managed accounts. We manage a diversified portfolio in terms of debt instruments, industry sector and geographic representation.
The team works with the broader Ares platform, providing access to extensive relationship networks and insights into industry and macro-economic trends through active investments in over 3,250 companies.
The following are highlights of the Ares European direct lending strategy:
Offering creative and flexible solutions to financial sponsors and companies
Leveraging local origination and execution capabilities
Ability to navigate multiple debt instruments to achieve favorable relative value
Driving proprietary originations by pursuing multiple channels while retaining high selectivity rates
Creating diversified funds and actively managing portfolio construction
Focusing on making control investments to negotiate terms and drive appropriate documentation as well as manage downside risk
Transparent and streamlined approval process to help ensure speed and deliverability
Leveraging the power of the Ares platform