Picture: 123RF/EVERYTHINGPOSSIBLE
Picture: 123RF/EVERYTHINGPOSSIBLE

New York — Neuberger Berman’s Dyal Capital Partners and direct lender Owl Rock Capital Partners have agreed to merge via a blank-cheque company, forming a new alternative asset manager overseeing $45bn.

The firms — which will create a newly formed entity named Blue Owl Capital — will go public through a combination with Altimar Acquisition Corporation, a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) backed by HPS Investment Partners, according to a statement. The merged company is expected to have a market capitalisation of about $12.5bn.

Douglas Ostrover, co-founder of Owl Rock, will serve as Blue Owl CEO, which will focus on direct lending and capital solutions for general partners, the statement said. Dyal co-founder Michael Rees and Owl Rock founder Marc Lipschultz will serve as co-presidents of the new company.

Owl Rock and Dyal founders, as well as Neuberger Berman, will retain equity stakes in Blue Owl.

In an investor call on Wednesday, Ostrover said the two sides of Blue Owl’s business will be “autonomous but complementary”, according to a transcript. There will be enhanced origination opportunities for the firm’s direct lending businesses through ownership relationships in its general partners capital solutions business and vice versa, he said.

“What we’re trying to do is we’re trying to meet all of the needs, whether it be a PE firm or a VC firm or a debt firm,” Ostrover said on the call. “Our goal is to have a pool of capital to meet whatever the needs are of those firms.”

The firm expects to launch a retail product in the credit space that could bring in between $200m and $250m a month, Ostrover said.

The deal is expected to provide $1.8bn in proceeds — funded through Altimar cash and a $1.5bn common stock private investment in public equity, including commitments from investors including Iconiq Capital, CH Investment Partners, Koch Companies Defined Benefit Master Trust, the Federated Hermes Kaufmann Funds, and Liberty Mutual Investments, according to the statement.

Dyal Capital and Owl Rock said earlier in December they had signed a nonbinding letter of intent for a potential merger.

Altimar raised $275m in an October initial public offering. At the time, the company said it would focus on finding targets in four industries in which HPS has expertise: health care, financial services, consumer and technology, as well as media and telecommunications. Dyal has owned a minority stake in HPS since 2018.

Dyal, headed by former Lehman Brothers executives Rees and Sean Ward, manages about $22bn, according to its website. The firm’s funds own stakes in other asset managers such as Silver Lake and Vista Equity Partners.

Owl Rock, founded in 2016, manages $23.7bn of assets. Co-founders Ostrover, Lipschultz and Craig Packer held senior positions at Blackstone, KKR  and Goldman Sachs, respectively. In 2019, Dyal made an investment in Owl Rock that valued the firm at about $2.5bn.

Bloomberg

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