VSS and Ares announce media lending partnership


Veronis Suhler Stevenson (VSS), a private equity and mezzanine lending firm already well known in broadcasting and other media circles, announced an agreement with Ares Capital Corporation to collaborate in media financing. The partners say they will bring flexible debt capital to small and middle-market companies in the information, education, media and marketing services industries. 

Through the new relationship, VSS and Ares Capital will team up to provide senior debt financing to companies in select industries with $5 million to $35 million of EBITDA, a market which they note is currently underserved by financial institutions. VSS has brought on Bill Archer former Chief Credit Officer of Bankers Trust and Chief Debt Underwriter for Goldman Sachs, as Partner-VSS Debt Capital to head up its senior lending activities.

“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. 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,” said Archer.

“We look forward to a very productive strategic relationship with the well-established and highly regarded industry experts at VSS,” said Michael Arougheti, President of Ares Capital.  “This relationship is expected to provide additional proprietary deal flow to us in several key sectors and strengthen our relationship with a valued private equity sponsor client.  We believe this collaboration is a creative and efficient way to expand our origination capabilities and to reach attractive companies in the information, education, media and marketing services industries,” he added.

RBR-TVBR observation: We’ve certainly heard from lots of broadcasters and brokers for the past couple of years that the pool of media lenders has shrunk and it has become increasingly difficult to find financing. The entry of a new lender is certainly a welcome event. Let us hope that others become interested in filling this void as well.