Former AIG Team IPO; Thomas Lee

Chidem Kurdas

A credit investment group with backing from private equity firm Thomas H Lee Partners plans to go public as a business development company. The top managers of the credit operation once worked at AIG, the insurance giant now largely owned by the US government.

Certain Thomas H Lee partners hold a 50% stake in the credit business. The rest of the equity is owned by the business’ managers, led by chief executive James Hunt. He was co-founder of hedge fund Bison Capital in 2001 and before that headed SunAmerica corporate finance and was executive vice president of SunAmerica Investments. AIG acquired SunAmerica.

Also in the team are Sam Tillinghast and Hunter Stropp. All three are specialists in mezzanine debt, leveraged loans, private placements and private equity. Mr. Tillinghast was head of the AIG private placement group and before that was at SunAmerica.

For several years the group has managed a fund which now has debt and equity holdings in five companies. Those investments are to be taken over by the business development company after the IPO. The underwriters of the public offering are Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, Merrill Lynch and Pierce, Fenner & Smith. They were investors in the fund.

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