Lasry, who earlier this year passed up on the opportunity to become US Ambassador to France, has discovered another way to get into Europe.
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With the economy beginning to slowly turn around Marc Lasry’s Avenue Capital Group LLC, , is reportedly establishing a dialogue with prospective investors on the possibility of establishing an investment fund to provide finance to mid-sized companies, similar to those that Avenue have currently in operation in the United States and Europe.
According to industry sources, Avenue Capital based in New York anticipates raising between $300 million to $500 million to get the private-equity fund up and running, with its activities supplementing an additional $500 million fund formed by Lasry earlier this year on behalf a private institutional investor.
Lasry’s initiative is in keeping with a growing trend of US Based Capital groups stepping in to fill the financial vacuum that has remained in place since the 2008 financial crisis, when the World’s major banks virtually withdrew from the practice of taking up senior loans held by small and medium-sized European companies.
According to reports, Avenue Capital’s European fund, to be overseen by Peter Lockhead, will commit loans of between $20 million to $50 million to each client according to one of the people.
Peter Lockhead joined Avenue Capital more than a year ago when Marc Lasry was still contemplating taking a leave of absence from the company that he founded in partnership with his sister Sonia Gardner in 1989, as his possible replacement . Before joining Avenue Capital Lockhart held the post of managing director and head of sponsor leveraged finance at the Bank of America Corp.’s Merrill Lynch unit. ,
Marc Lasry, who emigrated to the U.S. with his family from Morocco when he was just seven years old, began his career in debt management, diversifying into distressed securities when he founded company debt brokerage Amroc Investments In 1995 the brother and sister pairing established the Avenue Capital Group with a working capital of just seven million dollars, succeeded in growing the capital management company to to an international organizarion handling more than $20 billion in assets.