Daily News: January 31, 2012

LBC Credit, Crystal Provide Financing for Halifax Media Purchase

LBC Credit Partners and Crystal Financial announced they provided a $74.2 million senior secured term loan in support of Halifax Media Holdings LLC’s purchase of The New York Times Company Regional Media Group. The two financing companies served as co-lead arrangers for the deal, while LBC is the administrative agent. Halifax, a Stephens Capital Partners portfolio company, purchased a total of 16 newspapers and other related businesses in the transaction for about $143 million.

The financing structure put into place by LBC and Crystal is secured by a first lien on the real estate properties (consisting of office space and printing facilities) and intellectual property, as well as a springing first lien on equipment and a second lien on the remaining assets. The complex capital structure also included a senior revolving credit facility, a mezzanine term loan, other real estate debt, certain real estate sale-leaseback transactions, and cash equity provided by Stephens Capital Partners and its equity partners.

“The experience of LBC and Crystal was instrumental in closing a rather complex deal,” said Noel Strauss, managing director at Stephens Capital. “They were meticulous in creating a structure around the many unique factors involved, both in terms of collateral as well as the specific needs of all involved parties.”

“We worked closely and diligently with both the Halifax and Stephens management teams to deliver on this high-profile deal,” added John Jadach, director with LBC. “As always, our aim was to develop mutually acceptable financing terms for all parties involved, a goal we met successfully.”

“We are pleased to partner with LBC to provide a highly structured and complex financing to Stephens and Halifax,” explained Andrew Hettinger, managing director at Crystal Financial. “Throughout our underwriting, we were impressed with the industry expertise of Stephens and the management team of Halifax and their collective history of acquiring and profitably operating regional newspapers located in smaller communities.”

LBC Credit Partners is a provider of middle-market financing solutions including senior term, bifurcated lien, unitranche, second lien, junior secured, and mezzanine debt; and equity co-investments.

Crystal Financial is an independent commercial finance company that provides senior and junior secured revolvers and term loans for both asset-based and cash flow financings to middle-market companies.

Stephens Capital Partners is a family-owned private equity fund that focuses on long-term value creation in its investments.