Alternative Financing Facilities: How GP and Co‑Investment Facilities Increase Sponsors’ “Skin in the Game”

PE sponsors have been incredibly aggressive in recent years about pursuing fund-level leverage through subscription facilities and net asset value facilities. Because those types of financing facilities have been ubiquitous among PE funds, they have also attracted attention from limited partners and certain regulatory agencies for the way they are used and disclosed. Although other types of financing facilities have not garnered as much attention in recent years, they can be powerful tools for PE sponsors. General partner (GP) facilities enable sponsors to directly have more “skin in the game” by using leverage to finance their contributions to the PE funds they manage. Similarly, co‑investment facilities indirectly serve a similar purpose by allowing a sponsor’s employees and principals to finance their personal investments in those same PE funds. To better understand GP and co‑investment facilities, the Private Equity Law Report recently interviewed Proskauer partner Ron D. Franklin. This article summarizes the features and uses of those facilities; explains the driving forces behind them; and highlights issues PE sponsors should consider before putting those facilities in place. For more on financing facilities, see “Characteristics and Benefits of NAV Facilities for Secondary Funds” (Sep. 10, 2019); and “Operational Challenges for Private Fund Managers Considering Subscription Credit and Other Financing Facilities (Part Three of Three)” (Jun. 16, 2016).

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