October 20, 2015 / 6:13 AM / 2 years ago

U.S. credit manager Fifth Street seeking to buy European rival -CEO

LONDON, Oct 20 (Reuters) - U.S.-based fund manager Fifth Street Asset Management is looking to buy a European credit or direct lending firm with between $500 million and $1 billion in assets, its chief executive said.

Fifth Street is looking to take advantage of an expected wave of loan sales from banks looking to free up cash to bolster their balance sheets, but Len Tannenbaum said the firm, which specialises in U.S. credit, needed to buy local expertise.

"I think you need to buy experts in the market who are already established. I don't want to do it myself," he said.

Tannenbaum said Fifth Street, which manages around $6 billion in assets, had a credit line of $170 million he could tap to help fund the purchase, as well as equity capital after the firm listed last year. (Reporting by Simon Jessop and Patrick Graham; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

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