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Marc Lasry Turns His Attention To A Distressed Europe

Lasry, who earlier this year passed up on the opportunity to become US Ambassador to France, has discovered another way to get into Europe.

Marc Lasry / Getty

Marc Lasry / Getty

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.

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