CIT Provides Financing to John Varvatos Enterprises

Publicly traded financial lender CIT Group is providing a senior secured asset-based credit facility to retailer John Varvatos Enterprises in conjunction with the company’s acquisition by private equity firm Lion Capital.


CIT Group Inc. (NYSE: CIT – News), a leading provider of financing to small businesses and middle market companies, today announced that it provided a senior secured asset-based credit facility to John Varvatos Enterprises, Inc., a designer, retailer, and wholesaler of men’s designer apparel and accessories. The financing was completed in conjunction with the acquisition of the Company by Lion Capital LLP, a consumer focused private equity firm, from VF Corporation.

The financing was provided by CIT Bank, a wholly-owned subsidiary of CIT, for working capital, capital expenditures, and general corporate purposes. CIT Retail Finance served as Sole Lender and Administrative Agent for the financing. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“John Varvatos is top of mind when people think of great men’s apparel brands,” said Burt Feinberg, Group Head of CIT Retail Finance and CIT Commercial & Industrial. “We were pleased to have structured and financed this transaction, which will provide the Company with additional funds to continue to grow its business.”

Claude Mattessich, Managing Director of CIT Commercial & Industrial, said, “We look forward to working with the management team at John Varvatos and their partners at Lion Capital to help the business achieve the next phase of its growth.”

Jacob Capps, Partner of Lion Capital, said, “Given CIT’s depth of experience within the apparel/retail sector, we are pleased to have them as our financing partner on this transaction and we look forward to continuing to build our relationship as we further grow the business.”

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About Lion Capital

Lion Capital is recognized as a leading investor in the consumer sector. With offices in London and New York, the firm’s principals have led the investment of €6 billion of equity capital in consumer businesses across Europe and North America totaling over €19 billion of enterprise value. Lion Capital’s focus on market-leading consumer-facing companies has led to investments in such well-known brands as Jimmy Choo, American Apparel and AllSaints Spitalfields. Lion Capital’s investment strategy is underpinned by exceptional experience within its senior team in investing in and operating within the consumer sector. The firm works in partnership with the management of its companies to strategically transform the businesses in which it invests.

About John Varvatos
John Varvatos launched his namesake brand in 2000 with a collection of tailored clothing and sportswear, and it now represents an entire men’s lifestyle collection that includes footwear, bags, belts, eyewear, limited-edition watches and men’s fragrances, as well as the younger, edgier John Varvatos USA Collection® and Converse by John Varvatos®. Mr. Varvatos also stars as a celebrity mentor on NBC’s hit reality competition series “Fashion Star.”

About CIT Bank
Founded in 2000, CIT Bank (Member FDIC) is wholly-owned subsidiary of CIT Group Inc. (NYSE: CIT – News). It is regulated by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Utah Department of Financial Institutions. As of March 31, 2012, it had $6.7 billion of deposits and $9.6 billion of assets.

About CIT
Founded in 1908, CIT (NYSE: CIT – News) is a bank holding company with more than $34 billion in finance and leasing assets. A member of the Fortune 500, 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. CIT also operates CIT Bank (Member FDIC),, its primary bank subsidiary, which offers a suite of online savings options designed to help customers achieve a range of financial goals.