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Eldridge Todd Boehly PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP/Getty Images

Todd Boehly Is Building New Asset Manager Around Crown Jewel

The new business, to be named Eldridge, is set to combine at least six existing platforms backed by Boehly’s Eldridge Industries with insurer Security Benefit.

(Bloomberg) -- Todd Boehly is planning to create a new asset management firm, and is in talks to sell a stake to investors in a bid to turbocharge growth and fund potential acquisitions across the globe.

The new business, to be named Eldridge, is set to combine at least six existing platforms backed by Boehly’s Eldridge Industries with its crown jewel, insurer Security Benefit, according to people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified discussing confidential information.

The new firm will launch with at least $65 billion in assets, likely in the next six to 12 months pending regulatory approval, the people said. Boehly is working with advisers in the meantime to solicit interest from global investors including sovereign wealth funds, pensions and family offices in a minority stake in Eldridge that could value the asset manager between $10 billion and $15 billion, they said.

Proceeds from any stake sale would be used to bolster Eldridge’s position as a credit and insurance-focused force. Boehly aims to take advantage as the industry consolidates, targeting firms with assets of $3 billion to $50 billion in the US and Europe, the people said. Beyond that, Eldridge is considering all options, including eventually going public or pursuing a sale itself.

An Eldridge Industries spokesperson declined to comment.

It’s the next act for Boehly, the investor famed for helping Guggenheim Partners create an asset management unit that now oversees about $234 billion. He’s known for buying complicated credit businesses and pioneering acquisitions of insurance assets in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.

Boehly, who’s likely to lead the new venture in the interim, has an estimated net worth of $7.2 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. He has ownership stakes in the Premier League’s Chelsea FC and Major League Baseball’s Los Angeles Dodgers. 

He’s seeking to expand his empire as insurance holdings have fueled the alternative asset management industry, with Apollo Global Management Inc. and KKR & Co. owning Athene and Global Atlantic, respectively.

Boehly acquired Security Benefit on behalf of Guggenheim in 2010. Eldridge Industries, his holding company, now wholly owns the insurer, which is one of the top 10 indexed annuity sellers in the US. It has expanded in recent years through acquisitions, and the insurer will be a large investor in the credit opportunities generated through the asset management arm of Eldridge, the people said.

Meanwhile, Boehly has been actively looking to bolster Eldridge Industries’ asset management prowess. The firm was among final bidders for European private credit firm Hayfin, which has about 30 billion euros ($32 billion) under management. He’s brought in former Investcorp GP stakes-focused partner David Lee, who is set to provide capital to alternative-asset managers, and separately struck a private-credit partnership with Raymond James.

The new firm will bring together asset managers including real estate investment firm Cain International, private credit firm Maranon Capital, Panagram, which specializes in collateralized loan obligations and other structured products, and Stonebriar Commercial Finance, which focuses on financings such as equipment leasing. A newer real estate venture, Eldridge Acre Partners, may also be added. 

The plan is still fluid, and what’s included in the new firm may still change, the people said.

Eldridge Industries — owned by Boehly, Hansjörg Wyss, Tony Minella and other senior management — will have a roughly 85% stake in the new firm, which would be diluted if a minority stake sale takes place. The remainder is owned by investors including the management teams of platform companies, as well as individuals such as Guggenheim’s Mark Walter and Heritage Group’s Richard Merkin.

Asset managers have increasingly focused on scale, in part because investors have sought to consolidate the number of firms to which they allocate. BlackRock Inc. earlier this year agreed to buy Global Infrastructure Partners, while Ares Management Corp. is in talks on a possible merger with GLP Capital Partners’ operations outside of China, a deal that would add about $66 billion in assets under management, Bloomberg News reported Thursday.

Eldridge Industries will retain its venture, growth equity and private equity bets as well as much of the firm’s forays into entertainment, the people said. Those have included stakes in DraftKings, Epic Games, Payactiv and A24.

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