White Oak Attracts $2.1 Billion for Direct Lending Fund

The alternative asset manager saw strong demand for the new debt fund from pensions, insurers and family offices.

Illustration by II

Illustration by II

White Oak Global Advisors, an alternative asset manager based in San Francisco, has raised $2.1 billion for a direct lending fund that will provide financing to small and mid-sized companies.

White Oak Yield Spectrum Fund exceeded its $1.75 billion target and has already invested half of the committed capital from investors, according to a statement Wednesday from the firm. The asset manager expects the new pool — which primarily provides term loans, asset-based loans, and equipment financing — to be 75 percent invested by yearend.

Private debt funds have boomed in size and number since the 2008 financial crisis. White Oak has differentiated itself by diversifying away from the more traditional private equity-sponsored term loans, according to Andre Hakkak, co-founder and chief executive officer of the asset manager. Founded in 2007, the firm manages more than $5.6 billion of assets and invests across the U.S., Canada, and Europe.

The direct lending fund attracted institutional investors globally, with “very strong” support from public and private pensions, insurance companies, and global family offices, according to the statement. For help with fundraising, White Oak hired Campbell Lutyens & Co. as placement agent.

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In July, White Oak announced that its ABL group had committed £90 million ($117 million) of financing to British Steel for working capital needs and to help fuel its capital investment projects. The carbon steel producer, formerly the European long products division of Tata Steel, was bought by Greybull Capital in 2016.

“Small and mid-sized companies that have traditionally served as the bedrock of our economy need additional capital to continue fueling their growth,” Darius Mozaffarian, co-president of White Oak, said in Wednesday’s statement.