VSS in Partnership to Provide Capital for Mid-Market Newspapers, Media Companies

By: Mark Fitzgerald

Veronis Suhler Stevenson (VSS), the private equity firm that’s brokered big newspaper sales, and Ares Capital Corporation, a lender to middle-market businesses, announced an agreement Monday to collaborate on providing debt capital to small- and mid-market companies in the media, information, education and marketing services industries.

VSS and Ares said they will target companies with $5 million to $35 million of EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization), a market they say is underserved by financial institutions. 

Heading VSS’s senior lending activities will be Bill Archer, former chief credit officer for Bankers Trust and chief debt underwriter for Goldman Sachs. His title will be  partner-VSS Debt Capital.

“We view this strategic relationship with Ares Capital as a significant benefit to our industry because of the current lack of capital available to lower middle market companies,” Archer said in a statement. “Ares Capital’s efficient access to capital, scale and demonstrated credit expertise is a perfect complement for our strong, proprietary deal flow and demonstrated industry knowledge within our market segments.”

Ares Capital Corporation, which said it had committed capital under management of about $37 billion as of the end of March, invests primarily in first- and second-lien loans and mezzanine debt, which in some cases includes an equity component.

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