US-based alternative investment manager Ares Management, through its Alternative Credit strategy, has completed the acquisition of a $3.5bn speciality finance loan portfolio from PacWest Bancorp.

PacWest is a California-based bank holding company with an executive office in Denver, Colorado, and a wholly owned banking subsidiary, Pacific Western Bank.

Pacific Western Bank is a community bank focused on providing business banking and treasury management services to small, middle-market, and venture-backed businesses.

The bank offers a wide range of loan and lease and deposit products and services through its full-service branches, and loan production offices located across the country.

The portfolio, originated by Lender Finance unit at PacWest, includes high-quality, senior secured, asset-backed loans with commitments of around $3.5bn.

It is backed by assets such as consumer loans, small business loans, timeshare receivables, auto loans, asset manager and fund finance loans, and residential and commercial real estate loans.

PacWest Bancorp president and CEO Paul Taylor said: “This transaction will improve our liquidity and capital as we continue to implement our announced strategy to return our focus to relationship-based community banking.”

Alternative Credit partner and co-head Joel Holsinger said: “Our team is an established leader in providing creative and flexible solutions to asset-focused investment opportunities.

“Our scale, coupled with one of the more flexible mandates in the private credit market today, makes Ares Alternative Credit an ideal partner to the banking community as they optimize their balance sheets and strengthen their financial position.”

Ares Alternative Credit pursues an asset-focused investing strategy, targeting investments in large, diversified portfolios of assets that generate contractual cash flows.

It invests across the capital structure and seeks opportunities in speciality finance, lender finance, loans, equipment leasing, structured products, net lease, and other investments.

Ares Alternative Credit had around $24bn in assets under management as of 31 March 2023 and has deployed more than $10bn in the last 12 months.

Barclays served as the exclusive financer to Ares, while Stephens served as the exclusive financial advisor to PacWest Bancorp, on this transaction.

Alternative Credit partner and portfolio manager Jeffrey Kramer said: “We are excited to broaden and enhance our existing Alternative Credit portfolio through this strategic acquisition of a high-quality portfolio of asset-backed loans.

“Our longstanding relationship with PacWest and our team’s ability to underwrite across numerous asset classes and efficiently complete the transaction positioned Ares to be the partner of choice.”