J.H. Whitney & Co. announced that it has acquired Igloo Products Corp., a Katy, Texas-based company that makes ice chests, beverage coolers and thermoelectric coolers. peHUB had originally reported the news earlier this month. The deal includes $95 million in unitranche debt financing from Unitranche Fund LLC, and a $40 million undrawn revolver from GE Antares Capital.
Unitranche Fund LLC, co-managed by affiliates of Allied Capital and GE Commercial Finance, has provided $95 million of unitranche debt financing to support J.H. Whitney & Co.’s acquisition of Igloo Products Corp. GE Antares Capital provided a $40 million undrawn revolver to the company.
Founded in 1947, Igloo is the largest manufacturer of coolers in the U.S. and has maintained this #1 position over the past 20 years. Igloo leads the industry through innovative new product developments and a commitment to quality. It is estimated that three of every four U.S. households own at least one Igloo cooler.
Unitranche Fund LLC was formed in December 2007 by affiliates of GE Commercial Finance and Allied Capital to deliver a reliable, single-source unitranche loan product to companies with EBITDA of $15 – $90 million.
“We are delighted to have worked with Whitney to complete this transaction,” said John Volpe, Senior Managing Director of GE Commercial Finance. Dan Russell, Managing Director of Allied Capital, added, “Together with GE, we were able to deliver a unitranche loan and provide a one-stop debt solution to the transaction with simplicity, efficiency and certainty of close.”
Paul Vigano, a Managing Director at Whitney commented, “The unitranche financing provided by these two trusted lenders was critical to completing this transaction.”
About Unitranche Fund LLC
Unitranche Fund LLC (the “Fund”) was formed in December 2007 by Allied Capital and GE Commercial Finance. The Fund can invest up to $270 million for a single borrower, while Allied Capital and GE Commercial Finance may jointly underwrite amounts above that, up to $500 million in total debt financing. The Fund targets investments in a wide range of industry sectors, including business services, healthcare, media, energy, aerospace and transportation. A unitranche loan blends senior and junior debt pricing and terms into a single first lien debt facility, and provides a simple, attractive alternative to traditional senior/subordinated debt structures. Borrowers benefit from simplified documentation through a single credit agreement, greater certainty of execution, and reduced decision-making complexity throughout the life of the loan.
About GE Antares Capital
GE Antares Capital is a unit of GE Commercial Finance – Global Sponsor Finance. With $13 billion in assets, and offices in Chicago, London, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco, GE Antares offers a “one-stop” source for GE’s lending and other services offered to middle market private equity sponsors. For more information, visit the GE Antares website at www.geantares.com.
About GE Commercial Finance
GE Commercial Finance, which offers businesses around the globe an array of financial products and services, has assets of approximately $300 billion and is headquartered in Norwalk, Connecticut. GE (NYSE: GE) is a diversified global infrastructure, finance and media company that is built to meet essential world needs. From energy, water, transportation and health to access to money and information, GE serves customers in more than 100 countries and employs more than 300,000 people worldwide. For more information, visit the company’s Web site at www.ge.com. GE is Imagination at Work.
About Allied Capital
Allied Capital (NYSE: ALD) is a leading business development company (BDC) in the U.S. that invests long-term debt and equity capital in middle market businesses nationwide. Founded in 1958 and operating as a public company since 1960, Allied Capital is celebrating 50 years of investing in the U.S. entrepreneurial economy. With approximately $5 billion in total balance sheet assets at June 30, 2008, Allied Capital is among the largest BDCs with a diverse portfolio of investments in 120 companies across a variety of industries. These companies generate aggregate revenues of over $13 billion and employ more than 98,000 people. In addition to its own balance sheet assets, Allied Capital manages private funds with committed capital totaling $5 billion. For more information, please visit www.alliedcapital.com.
About J.H. Whitney & Co.
J.H. Whitney & Co., established in 1946, was one of the first U.S. private equity firms pioneering the development of the private equity industry. Today, J.H. Whitney remains privately owned and its main activity is to provide private equity capital for small and middle market companies. J.H. Whitney is currently investing its sixth private equity fund, J.H. Whitney VI, L.P., for major endowments, foundations, pension plans, and high net-worth families. Investment activities are focused on small and middle market buyouts of market leading companies that are poised for growth in a number of industries including consumer products and retail, healthcare services, specialty manufacturing and business services.