KKR, the US private equity group, has supported a debt refinancing of the Casual Dining Group (CDG), operator of Café Rouge, Bella Italia, Las Iguanas and La Tasca.

KKR’s European direct lending platform, part of KKR Credit, provides funding for medium sized enterprises across Europe in need of customized funding solutions beyond traditional bank lending.

It said that the c290-strong CDG would use the new capital to fund further growth and strengthen its existing capital structure.

The new funding comes on the back of the acquisitions of Las Iguanas and La Tasca and has seen no money talen out of the business.

KKR and Pemberton were involved in providing the debt, with KKR providing the majority. The refinancing equates to around three times run-rate EBITDA.

Steve Richards, chief executive of CDG, said: “We are pleased to have concluded this process with KKR. The group remains conservatively geared and this transaction provides capital that will underpin our long-term growth strategy.”

Marc Ciancimino, member and head of European Private Credit at KKR, said: “We believe that the direct lending landscape in Europe is undergoing a structural change. Non-bank lending is becoming a more important feature of the €9.5tn market backing European corporates. We are seeing an increase in the number of companies looking for alternative customized lending solutions to support their needs.”

In 2015 alone, KKR has completed eight direct lending transactions in Europe, deploying more than $500m in long-term capital for companies across a number of countries and across a variety of sectors such as industrials, consumer, retail and care services.