MML puts $75m into gambling

MML Capital Partners, formerly known as Mezzanine Management, has led a mezzanine investment in Yonkers Raceway alongside limited partner New York Life Insurance Company affiliate New York Life Capital Partners.

MML Capital Partners has led a $75 million (€48.2 million) mezzanine investment in Yonkers Racing Corporation, owner of gaming and horse racing complex Yonkers Raceway.

The Rooney family, which has long had a relationship with a number of senior MML partners, approached MML with the investment opportunity, said MML partner Shawn St. Jean. The Rooney family acquired Yonkers Raceway in 1972.

St. Jean declined to disclose the intended use of the proceeds.

New York Life Capital Partners co-invested alongside MML. New York Life Insurance is a limited partner in MML’s current fund.

MML often co-invests alongside its LPs, said Rooney. LPs most recently participated in the £160 million refinancing of UK-based contract caterer Baxter Storey of which MML contributed £24 million.

The transaction is the 12th made from the firm’s fourth fund, which closed in 2006 and is currently more than half invested.

Formerly known as Mezzanine Management, MML changed its name this month to reflect its move to a limited liability partnership.

“We would end up starting every meeting trying to explain why our name wasn’t really what we do anymore,” said St. Jean.

The firm originated as the first independent mezzanine lender in London, according to St. Jean.

MML provides all levels of junior capital from equity to mezzanine and makes both control and minority investments. Investments are generally between $50 million and $75 million in total size.

MML has offices in London, Paris, Frankfurt, and Stamford, Connecticut, and affiliated Central European funds with offices in Vienna, Budapest, Warsaw and Bucharest.

The firm has invested more than $2 billion of capital across 11 countries in the last 20 years. Most recently, MML acquired Minnesota-based specialised material hander PaR Systems from American Capital and led the £40 million management buyout of UK-based mechanical and electrical services provider EIC.