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Private Equity

Ares closes European direct lending fund at €6.5 billion

Ares Management closed its fourth European direct lending fund at a hard cap of €6.5 billion ($7.6 billion).

Ares Capital Europe IV had an initial target of €4.5 billion, said a news release by the firm, and follows the Ares Capital Europe III fund, which closed in May 2016 at €2.5 billion.

Ares said including anticipated leverage, the latest fund will have total available capital of about €10 billion. The fund provides capital to midmarket companies across Europe.

"ACE IV's scale underscores the attractive investment opportunities available in the European market today and the confidence that investors have in Ares as a strong steward of their capital," said Blair Jacobson, co-head of the Ares European direct lending strategy and partner in Ares credit group, in the release. "We are pleased that investors have continued to support our strategy as our deployment has increased over time. Our momentum is a result of the growth in our origination capabilities, the acceptance of direct lending across the European countries where we have a meaningful and long-standing presence, and the benefits of incumbency, which are becoming even more pronounced."

Ares' European direct lending platform is part of the firm's credit group, which runs about $85 billion.

In April, the $14.3 billion Maine Public Employees Retirement System, Augusta, agreed to commit up to €100 million to the fund.

A spokesman for Ares could not immediately be reached for comment.

Ares has $112.5 billion in assets under management.