Abacus Finance Group was the Administrative Agent and Sole Lead Arranger for $18 million in senior secured credit facilities to support the carve-out of VITAC Corporation, a provider of captioning services to the live and prerecorded television programming and entertainment industries, by The Gores Group. VITAC was a subsidiary of Merrill Corporation.
“The transaction was handled smoothly and rapidly by the Abacus team from the outset,” said Mike Nutting, Managing Director and Head of Corporate Finance for Gores. “They rolled up their sleeves to learn the business and the industry, and closed the deal in just two weeks – a tremendous effort on their part.”
VITAC provides live and prerecorded captioning services in English and Spanish; video description; and other digital media services for broadcast networks, cable TV, online video, and teleconferences. Customers include NBC Universal, Discovery Networks, BBC America, CNN, C-SPAN, FOX, Turner Broadcasting, Warner Bros. Television, and the federal government. VITAC was founded in 1986 as CaptionAmerica and was renamed VITAC (Vital Access) in 1993. The company has approximately 325 employees and is headquartered southwest of Pittsburgh in Canonsburg, PA (www.vitac.com).
“This was our first transaction with The Gores Group, which has an impressive record of carve-out acquisitions. They proved to be easy to work with, their due diligence was thorough, and they placed a high value on our speed – a key aspect of what we call our Total Partnership Approach,” said Tim Clifford, President and CEO of Abacus. Other Abacus team members involved in the transaction included Timothy Wong, Jonathan Choa and Joseph Lee.
Abacus provides cash flow senior financing to private equity-sponsored, lower-middle market companies that have EBITDA between $3 million and $15 million. Debt facilities can be as large as $50 million with a typical hold size ranging from $10 million to $30 million. Abacus is an affiliate of New York Private Bank & Trust, the holding company for Emigrant Bank, founded in 1850. Abacus is based in New York (www.abacusfinance.com).
The Gores Group makes control investments in non-core, underperforming or undervalued businesses in the United States and Europe. The firm maintains an in-house team of over 60 M&A and operating professionals in the US and Europe. The Gores Group was founded in 1987 and is headquartered in Los Angeles with additional offices in Boulder, CO and London, UK (www.gores.com).
Legal counsel was provided to Abacus by Choate Hall & Stewart (www.choate.com).
© 2016 PEPD • Private Equity’s Leading News Magazine • 2-4-16