Franklin BSP Lending and Franklin BSP Capital, business development companies advised by affiliates of Benefit Street Partners, acquired substantially all of the equity interests of Encina Equipment Finance. The acquisition provides Encina Equipment Finance with a capital base to support the continued expansion of its platform as an equipment finance solutions provider in the United States and Canada.
Encina Equipment Finance provides leases and loans secured by equipment ranging in size from approximately $5 million to $50 million to middle-market, non-investment grade companies across a range of industries. Since its inception in 2017, Encina Equipment Finance has underwritten more than 125 transactions totaling more than $1 billion in cumulative funded volume.
Encina Equipment Finance will continue to be led by Rick Matte, its president and CEO, and remain headquartered in Westport, CT. As part of the transaction, members of the firm’s management team will retain a minority ownership interest in the company. Encina Equipment Finance will operate independently as a portfolio company of Franklin BSP Lending and Franklin BSP Capital.
“We are excited to embark on our company’s next stage of growth and look forward to collaborating with BSP to continue to provide critical equipment financing solutions to our clients,” Matte said. “BSP’s credit expertise and cultural fit, combined with a permanent capital base, make it an ideal partner for EEF. The management team and I are also incredibly appreciative of the foundation and support we have received from our founding partners at Encina Capital Partners and funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management L.P. to position our firm for this next phase.”
“EEF represents a compelling investment opportunity for our two BDCs,” Richard Byrne, president of Benefit Street Partners and CEO of Franklin BSP Lending and Franklin BSP Capital, said. “The Encina Equipment team has built a best-in-class equipment finance platform that is well positioned for continued growth. EEF complements our core private debt business and broadens the suite of financing solutions across our platform. We are excited to partner with Rick and the rest of the EEF team.”
“I am grateful for the tremendous support that we’ve received from funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management L.P. and our lender group as well as the significant contributions from my partners, Willie Brasser, Ron Fontana and Jason Wolff, and I’m confident that EEF is well positioned for a highly successful next chapter with BSP,” Andrew Salter, founder and CEO of Encina Capital Partners, said.
BofA Securities served as exclusive financial advisor to Franklin BSP Lending and Franklin BSP Capital for this transaction, while Wells Fargo Securities served as exclusive financial advisor to Encina Equipment Finance. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom and Reed Smith served as legal advisors to Encina Equipment Finance, while Hogan Lovells, Dechert and Ropes & Gray served as legal advisors to Benefit Street Partners.