Italy’s independent asset manager Azimut Group, through its US subsidiary Azimut Alternative Capital Partners (AACP), has acquired a minority stake in Kennedy Lewis Investment Management – a private credit investment manager based in New York.
Under the agreement, AACP picked a 20% equity stake in Kennedy Lewis, providing permanent capital to the latter.
Kennedy Lewis will utilise around 90% of the deal proceeds to boost investments in its own funds.
The firm’s strategy, management, investment process or day-to-day operations remain unaffected by the transaction.
Kennedy Lewis was founded in 2017 by David Chene and Darren Richman.
The business employs 28 professionals including 19 investment professionals and has $2.1bn in AUM and committed capital.
It focuses on middle-market companies facing disruption and deploys capital across a range of sectors and debt securities in North America and Europe.
Chene and Richman said: “Azimut’s permanent capital strengthens our Firm’s balance sheet allowing us to increase commitments to our own funds and deepen our alignment with our limited partners.
“Azimut’s investment validates our deliberate and long-term strategy to build an enduring opportunistic credit platform and we look forward to many years of successful collaboration and partnership with the entire Azimut organisation.”
Established in 1989, Azimut Group has presence in 17 countries globally and $65bn in total AUM.
Its AACP subsidiary was set up last year in November to partner with alternative asset managers in the US. The Kennedy Lewis deal marks AACP’s first deal.
AACP CEO Jeff Brown said: “With the strength of Azimut’s global resources, we will fulfil our shared vision of helping Kennedy Lewis achieve its greatest potential.”
Azimut Group chairman Pietro Giuliani said: “Jeff and his team have done an excellent job identifying and joining forces with Kennedy Lewis, a successful and respected firm, and most importantly in finding two leaders like David and Darren who share Azimut’s entrepreneurial philosophy and long-term view.
“Our goal is for private markets to represent at least 15%of our AUM by the end of 2024, and this deal certainly puts us on the right track.”