Billionaire Nelson Peltz's holding company Triarc Companies is close to investing $185 million in Deerfield & Co. and its subsidiary, Deerfield Capital Management. According to sources, Deerfield has been looking for liquidity for more than a year, partly because Sumitomo Life Insurance Co., which acquired a 20% stake in the firm in 1999, wanted out of its investment. If successful, Triarc will take a controlling interest and provide capital going forward for the money manager, according to an SEC filing. Sources indicated an alternative option had been a sale to other money management firms.
John Brinkerhoff, managing director and director of marketing for Deerfield, declined comment. Ed Garden, executive v.p. for corporate development at the Peltz holding company, did not return calls. A Triarc spokeswoman said the company is still in preliminary discussions and a definitive agreement has not been reached.
The Chicago-based money manager has more than $8 billion in assets under management, including over $2.2 billion in loans. The assets are primarily managed in CDOs, but Deerfield also has about $1 billion in hedge funds and separate account management.
Triarc and Deerfield have also filed a $750 million IPO for a Business Development Corp. (BDC) called Triarc Deerfield Investment Corp. The filing for the BDC states that Triarc is engaged in negotiations with certain owners of Deerfield's parent company "concerning the possible acquisition by Triarc of a controlling interest in Deerfield's parent company and an additional capital commitment." It adds that the senior management of Deerfield would retain a significant ownership interest in Deerfield and senior management including Chairman and CEO Gregory Sachs, President Scott Roberts, and CIO Jonathan Trutter, would remain in their current roles. Deerfield was founded in 1993 by Sachs as Springfield International Investments, but changed its name in 2000.