CIT Leads $204M Debt for PE-backed Ernest Health

CIT Group Inc. has led a $204 million credit facility to support refinancing of Ernest Health, the firm announced Friday. Ernest Health, which is backed by private equity firm Ferrer Freeman & Co., is a provider of post-acute care services. CIT Healthcare served as sole bookrunner, joint lead arranger and administrative agent on the $150 million first lien debt, and as sole bookrunner and lead arranger on the $54 million second lien debt, the firm said in a written statement. Other terms of the deal were not disclosed.

PRESS RELEASE

CIT Group Inc. (NYSE: CIT) a leading provider of financing to small businesses and middle market companies, today announced that it arranged and syndicated a $204 million senior secured credit facility to support the refinancing of Ernest Health, a leading provider of post-acute care services and a portfolio company of Ferrer Freeman & Company, LLC. CIT Healthcare served as Sole Bookrunner, Joint Lead Arranger and Administrative Agent on the $150 million First Lien debt and Sole Bookrunner and Lead Arranger on the $54 million Second Lien debt. The financing was provided by CIT Bank, a wholly-owned subsidiary of CIT. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“This significant transaction highlights our ability to successfully communicate unique credit stories to the market,” said Steve Warden, President of CIT Healthcare. “We are proud to partner with Ernest Health on this refinancing as they continue to build their market leading post-acute care platform.”

Darby Brockette, Chief Executive Officer of Ernest Health, said, “CIT’s healthcare experience, unparalleled knowledge of the post-acute care sector and execution capabilities made them the natural choice to lead this refinancing. Our access to growth capital will allow us to continue to provide best-in-class rehabilitation and patient care to previously underserved communities across the United States.”

David Freeman, Co-Founder of Ferrer Freeman & Company, added, “CIT’s support of Ernest’s growth strategy and ability to provide certainty of execution made them the perfect partner for this refinancing.”

About Ernest Health
Ernest Health, headquartered in Albuquerque, New Mexico, is a leading provider of post-acute care services in underserved, high growth markets throughout the Rocky Mountain and Sun Belt regions. Founded in 2004 with private funding from Ferrer Freeman & Company, LLC, the company was established by a premiere management team with extensive post-acute care experience. Management has grown Ernest to become one of the largest and highest quality providers of post-acute care services in the United States. Currently, the company owns and operates 15 state-of-the-art inpatient rehabilitation facilities and long-term acute care hospitals across nine states. www.ernesthealth.com

About Ferrer Freeman & Company, LLC
Ferrer Freeman & Company, LLC, is a private equity firm located in Greenwich, CT that invests exclusively in healthcare and healthcare-related companies. Unlike generalist private equity investors for whom healthcare is one of many sectors of interest, Ferrer Freeman & Company, LLC, is completely dedicated to the industry. FFC has over $900 million under management and has decades of experience investing in, advising, acquiring and selling healthcare companies. Ferrer Freeman & Company, LLC, seeks to add value to its portfolio companies by bringing to bear its experience and networks. www.ffandco.com

About CIT Bank
CIT Bank is a state-chartered Utah bank and wholly-owned subsidiary of CIT Group Inc. (NYSE: CIT). It is regulated by the Utah Department of Financial Institutions and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. As of March 31, 2011, it had $4.3 billion of deposits, $6.8 billion of assets.

About CIT
Founded in 1908, CIT (NYSE: CIT) is a bank holding company with more than $35 billion in finance and leasing assets. It provides financing and leasing capital to its more than one million small business and middle market clients and their customers across more than 30 industries. CIT maintains leadership positions in small business and middle market lending, factoring, retail finance, aerospace, equipment and rail leasing, and global vendor finance.