GE prepares European leveraged business for upturn

Expecting LBO activity to pick significantly next year, GE Capital has made two appointments as it seeks to grab a greater share of European leveraged debt underwriting.

GE European Leveraged Finance, part of the recently formed GE Commercial Finance, has named two new directors at its London operations as part of an effort to boost the firm’s activity in the European senior and mezzanine debt middle market.

The firm has appointed Miles Alexander and James Inglis, who become director and assistant director respectively. Alexander will be responsible for originating and underwriting participations in senior debt and mezzanine industrial sector deals in the European middle market. Inglis, who previously spent seven years at PwC Corporate Finance, will work on deal origination.

According to Graham Randell, who heads the GE Commercial Finance division, the recently closed large leveraged deals had glossed over what has been a quiet year for deals in the mid-market. “The mid-market is still quiet. I think it will be next year before we see an upturn in activity in this sector.”

Despite the slowdown, GE Commercial Finance, which claims to have underwritten leveraged loans worth E18bn, still has a healthy range of deals in the pipeline. “We are currently involved in seven deals in the E50-300m size range, one of which is a E300m transaction that we are leading.”

The appointments are the first to be made following the restructuring of GE Capital announced at the beginning of August. GE Capital now comprises four divisions, GE Commercial Finance, GE Insurance, GE Consumer Finance and GE Equipment Management.