Babson Capital Backs Latest J.F. Lehman Add-on
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Babson Capital Backs Latest J.F. Lehman Add-on

Babson Capital Management has provided $12 million in mezzanine debt to support the acquisition of the Chemring Marine Group Rescue Division, a supplier of marine distress signals, by Drew Marine, a portfolio company of J.F. Lehman.

The Chemring’s Rescue Division is a supplier of marine distress signals to the commercial shipping and leisure markets and includes hand-flares, man-over-board buoys and line-throwers. Brands include Pains Wessex, Comet, Aurora and Oroquieta. The company’s products are produced in Bremerhaven, Germany; Pamplona, Spain; and Lara, Australia (www.chemringmarine.com).

Drew Marine is a provider of services to the marine industry and specializes in water treatment, fire, safety & rescue, cleaning & coatings, fuel management, welding & refrigeration and sealing products. Drew Marine was acquired by J.F. Lehman & Company in 2009. The company is based in Whippany, NJ (www.drew-marine.com).

This add-on investment brings Babson Capital’s total subordinated debt investment in Drew Marine to more than $30 million including an initial investment of $20 million to support J.F. Lehman & Company’s 2009 acquisition. Babson Capital also made an equity co-investment at the time of the 2009 acquisition.

“Babson Capital appreciates the opportunity to expand our relationship with Drew Marine through this add-on investment, and we are excited about the growth opportunities presented by the acquisition,” said Mike Klofas, Managing Director and head of the Mezzanine & Private Equity Group for Babson Capital. “We are extremely proud of our successful 20-year partnership with J.F. Lehman, and look forward to working together again soon.”

Babson Capital had $149 billion in assets under management as of June 30, 2012 and is a member of the MassMutual Financial Group. The firm is based in Boston and Springfield, MA and Charlotte, NC and has six additional offices in the US and one in Sydney, Australia, with subsidiaries in London and Tokyo (www.BabsonCapital.com).

“We were pleased to partner with the Babson Capital team on Drew Marine’s Chemring acquisition, which marks the fourteenth co-investment by Babson Capital in a J.F. Lehman portfolio company since 1992,” said Louis Mintz, Managing Partner of J.F. Lehman & Company. “The team’s deep experience in middle-market financing, responsiveness and partnership approach made Babson Capital a valuable asset on this transaction.”

J.F. Lehman & Company is a middle-market private equity firm focused primarily on the maritime, defense, and aerospace sectors. The firm was founded by Dr. John F. Lehman, who served six years as Secretary of the United States Navy. To date, J.F. Lehman has made investments in companies with an aggregate transaction value of approximately $1.6 billion. The firm was founded in 1992 and is headquartered in New York with additional offices in Washington, DC and London (www.jflpartners.com).

© 2012 PEPD • Private Equity’s Leading News Magazine • 8-30-12

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