Always Active Abacus Starts Fast

Always Active Abacus Starts Fast

Abacus is a provider of cash flow-based senior financing to private equity and family office-sponsored, lower-middle market companies

Abacus Finance is continuing its active support of private equity buyouts with the close of new transactions for Thompson Street Capital Partners, American Pacific Group, Pine Tree Equity, and WestView Capital.

In December, Abacus provided $34.5 million of debt to support American Pacific’s acquisition of Media 1 Digital Imaging Solutions, a distributor and integrator of private label and third-party wide-format, digital textile printing products including consumable textiles and fabric, ink, paper, and solvent; equipment, accessories, and replacement parts.

Source: Media 1 Digital Solutions

Media 1’s core markets are display banners, flags, and trade show graphics, however, it recently entered the home décor and apparel sectors. Media One is headquartered near Los Angeles in Garden Grove, California.

Abacus acted as the Senior Secured Credit Facilities Administrative Agent and Lead Arranger for the credit facilities used for the buy of Media 1 with Seth Friedman and Greg Scanlon leading the Abacus transaction team.

“American Pacific was great to work with on this transaction, and they brought us a standout company,” said Mr. Friedman. “Media 1 is a highly attractive, niche business offering a full suite of products and services.”

San Francisco-headquartered American Pacific is a lower middle market generalist investor with direct experience in the technology, consumer, industrial, healthcare, and business services sectors. In December 2022, American Pacific closed its second fund, American Pacific Group Fund II LP, at an oversubscribed hard cap of $700 million.

“The Media 1 transaction process was handled smoothly, and the Abacus team executed the transaction rapidly,” said Fraser Preston, a managing partner at American Pacific. “The Abacus deal team dug deep into the company to learn the business and the industry and closed the transaction in just three weeks – a tremendous effort on their part.”

Abacus provides cash flow-based senior financing to private equity and family office-sponsored, lower-middle market companies that have EBITDA between $3 million and $15 million. Debt facilities can be as large as $50 million. Since Abacus’s founding in June 2011, it has closed over $3 billion in financings. Abacus, led by President and CEO Tim Clifford, is headquartered in New York City and is an affiliate of New York Private Bank & Trust which was founded in 1850.

“We are excited to have had the opportunity to close our first transaction with the team from American Pacific,” said Mr. Clifford. “Securing this new relationship is a reflection of our ability to provide speed, cash-flow flexibility, and certainty of close – key aspects of what we call our Total Partnership Approach.”

Also closing in December was Thompson Street’s acquisition of Sabai Global, a provider of biosafety consulting services. Sabai operates through three subsidiaries – Clinical Biosafety Services, Castle IRB, and Shield Consulting – and provides regulatory review and biosafety consulting services to pharmaceutical sponsors, contract research organizations, academic health systems, and clinical research site networks. Sabai is led by CEO Chris Jenkins and is headquartered near St. Louis in Chesterfield, Missouri.

For the buy of Sabai Global, Abacus was the Senior Secured Credit Facilities Administrative Agent and Sole Lender for a package of senior secured credit facilities that backed Thompson Street. Importantly, Abacus also made an equity co-investment in the business.

“As in past transactions, we were impressed by the Abacus team’s speed of execution and ease of documentation. Once again, they were responsive, flexible, easy to work with, and able to provide certainty of closure early,” said Mark Chan, a vice president at Thompson Street.

St. Louis-based Thompson Street makes equity investments of $50 million to $250 million in companies with EBITDA between $5 million and $50 million. Sectors of interest include healthcare and life science services, software and technology services, and business and consumer products and services.

“Our longstanding partnership with Thompson Street, which shares our lower middle-market focus, has become one of our best client relationships,” said Mr. Clifford. “We know that when they come to us with a transaction, it will involve a high-quality company like Sabai Group.”

The Abacus transaction team for the buy of Sabai Group was led by Managing Director and COO Sean McKeever, Vice President Joseph Lee, and Associate Greg Scanlon.

“What is important to Thompson Street – in addition to speed and certainty of close – is our flexibility in structuring transactions and the emphasis we place on exceptional client service – all part of our Total Partnership Approach,” said Mr. McKeever.

Beyond the recent transactions with American Pacific and Thompson Street, Abacus also provided financing for Pine Tree Equity’s December 2022 acquisition of Marshall & Stevens, a Los Angeles-headquartered provider of middle market valuation and advisory services; and the January 2023 acquisition of Mobility Market Intelligence (MMI) by WestView Capital Partners. MMI is a Salt Lake City-headquartered SaaS provider of data intelligence, analytics and sales enablement software to the mortgage and real estate industry. Abacus also made an equity co-investment in MMI to support the transaction.

“We knew we could rely on Abacus despite the general state of today’s credit markets,” said Kevin Twomey, a principal at WestView. “They quickly understood the business model and market opportunity and provided us with a credit package designed to support both our investment and the company’s future growth.”

“This is the 15th platform we have closed with Westview since the founding of Abacus in 2011,” said Mr. Clifford. “Consistent with all historical transactions, we were once again impressed by their thoughtful investment thesis.”

In January, WestView announced the closing of its fifth fund, WestView Capital Partners V LP, with $1 billion of oversubscribed and hard cap capital. Since its founding in 2004, Boston-based WestView has raised $2.7 billion in capital, invested in 54 companies, and closed 32 liquidity events that generated more than $2.2 billion in cash proceeds.

© 2023 Private Equity Professional | February 23, 2023

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