Press Release

Canyon Partners Announces Strategic Minority Investment in Business

March 14, 2024

DALLASMarch 14, 2024 – Canyon Partners (“Canyon”), a $24 billion global alternative investment manager, today announced that Dai-ichi Life Holdings (“Dai-ichi”), the largest publicly traded life insurance group in Japan, has agreed to acquire a 19.9% strategic minority stake in the Canyon business.

100% of the net proceeds from the transaction will be retained on Canyon’s balance sheet and reinvested in the business, providing funding to seed new products and optimally scale existing products. In connection with the transaction, Dai-ichi will also be committing at least $1.3 billion of LP capital to several of Canyon’s commingled funds. Canyon’s current management team will continue to lead the company, with Co-Founders and Co-CEOs Josh Friedman and Mitch Julis committing to stay on at Canyon for at least five years.

Mr. Friedman and Mr. Julis said in a joint statement, “After over three decades in a rapidly evolving alternative investment landscape, Canyon was one of the few remaining independent credit firms. It was important to us to maintain that independence until we could identify a strategic partner that could bring skills, capital, and competitive edges of its own to further enhance Canyon’s position for the next several decades. Dai-ichi is an innovative firm with a history of savvy product development and successful investments in and partnerships with Japanese and non-Japanese companies alike. It is also a large institutional asset owner whose capital deployment goals are synergistic with Canyon’s product development initiatives. This transaction will enable us to double down on our alignment with current and future LPs, provide our LPs with a broader array of solutions and deal flow by tapping into Dai-ichi’s capital, increase our competitiveness relative to peers that have long enjoyed the benefits of external GP capital, and continue attracting top tier talent for decades to come. We’re excited to lead the firm through its next stage of evolution over the next five years and set up Canyon’s next generation leaders with an incredibly well-capitalized platform that is on its front foot.”

Under the terms of the agreement, Dai-ichi has the right to acquire up to 51% of the equity interest in Canyon in 2027 and up to 100% in 2029. In the event Dai-ichi were to exercise that right, the Canyon team would retain the vast majority of the incentive fees generated by its products, ensuring significant and ongoing alignment with LPs.

“By leveraging Canyon’s leading capabilities in alternative asset management, and specifically its private debt experience, Dai-ichi will strengthen its overall business portfolio, provide higher absolute and risk-adjusted returns to stakeholders, and advance its capital efficiency objectives,” said Takashi Iida, Managing Executive Officer, Group Head, Retirement, Savings and Asset Management Business of Dai-ichi Life Holdings. “Under the leadership of Mr. Friedman and Mr. Julis, Canyon has built excellent long-term investment track records across several asset categories, and we appreciate the firm’s leaders’ continued commitment to advancing the business.”

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including certain regulatory consents, which are expected to be satisfied over the coming months.

Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC and Ardea Partners LP acted as financial advisors to Canyon, while Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison acted as Canyon’s legal counsel. BofA Securities acted as financial advisor to Dai-ichi Life Holdings, while Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP acted as Dai-ichi’s legal counsel.

About Canyon Partners, LLC

Founded in 1990, Canyon employs a deep value, credit intensive approach across public and private corporate credit, structured credit, and direct real estate lending and investing. The firm seeks to capture excess returns available to those investors with specialized expertise, rigorous research capabilities, and the ability to underwrite complexity. Canyon invests on behalf of a broad range of institutions globally.

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About Dai-ichi Life Holdings, Inc.

Since its establishment in 1902, the Dai-ichi Life Group (“the Group”) has strived to follow its corporate philosophy of putting its customers first – “By your side, for life” – and provide products and services that best suit its customers’ changing needs, including protection insurance, saving insurance, retirement products and asset management services. The Group currently operates in 10 countries, from emerging to developed countries.

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Media Contact

Kris Cole
Prosek Partners

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