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Oaktree Capital Buys U.K.’s Countryside Capital From Lloyds

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Feb. 26 (Bloomberg) -- Oaktree Capital Management LLC has bought U.K. homebuilder Countryside Properties Plc using debt provided by seller Lloyds Banking Group.

Countryside got loans totaling 165 million pounds ($250 million) from the bank, Chairman Andrew Carr-Locke said in a telephone interview. The five-year facilities include a 125 million-pound term loan and a 40 million-pound working capital facility, he said.

Lloyds took control of Brentwood, U.K.-based Countryside in 2009 as part of a refinancing deal, according to a statement from parent Copthorn Holdings Ltd. Countryside then raised 363 million pounds of three-year loans with the bank, Copthorn said.

Oaktree Capital will have a majority stake in the business while the family of founder Alan Cherry will have a holding, Carr-Locke said.

The transaction includes a “significant capital injection” that will reduce its debt, Countryside said in a statement on its website. The investment is expected to complete in the next few weeks, it said.

Oaktree, the world’s largest distressed-debt investor, plans to raise a fund in the range of 250 million euros ($326.2 million) to 500 million euros to lend to European companies, according to three people with knowledge of the matter. Oaktree was founded by Howard Marks, Bruce Karsh and three other partners from investment firm TCW Group Inc. in 1995.

To contact the reporter on this story: Julie Miecamp in London at jmiecamp@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Faris Khan at fkhan33@bloomberg.net

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