American Capital Invests $54 Million in Recapitalization of Portfolio Company TransFirst Holdings

Sep 18, 2006, 01:00 ET from American Capital Strategies Ltd.

    BETHESDA, Md., Sept. 18 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- American Capital
 Strategies Ltd. (Nasdaq:   ACAS) announced today it has invested $54 million
 in its portfolio company TransFirst Holdings Inc., a leading provider of
 transaction processing services and payment technologies. American
 Capital's investment takes the form of a second lien junior secured term
 loan. A syndicate led by Merrill Lynch Capital is providing a secured loan
 facility consisting of a senior secured revolving loan facility, first lien
 senior secured term loan and second lien junior secured term loan. GTCR
 Golder Rauner LLC is the majority owner of TransFirst.
     "We're delighted that GTCR has asked us to provide financing to support
 the recapitalization of our portfolio company TransFirst, a premier
 provider of processing services with prominent national status. Our
 continuing investment in TransFirst represents American Capital's ninth
 investment with GTCR and totals $264 million in commitments to six GTCR
 portfolio companies," said American Capital Regional Managing Director
 Darin Winn. "With this investment American Capital is not only building on
 our relationship with GTCR, we are also delivering on our long-term
 commitment to growing a portfolio company."
     American Capital has invested $5 billion in the last twelve months,
 approximately $3.5 billion year to date and $1 billion quarter to date.
 These amounts do not include American Capital's unfunded equity commitment
 and debt funded to its portfolio company European Capital. For more
 information about American Capital's portfolio, go to
     "TransFirst continues to be an excellent portfolio company to support.
 In addition to outperforming our original expectations, the Company employs
 a compelling, highly scalable business model focused on small and medium
 sized merchants, has a diversified, high-quality customer base and records
 impressive historical financial performance," said American Capital
 Principal Jon Leiman. "In addition, we're also extremely pleased with the
 successful integration of the Fifth Third Bank portfolio, whose acquisition
 we supported in 2004. The detailed strategy and process methodology
 developed by GTCR and TransFirst management allowed for the integration to
 occur well ahead of schedule and resulted in attractive sales volume
 growth, reduced costs per transaction and a broadened customer base."
     "We're pleased to work with GTCR and TransFirst's management team. Both
 groups have deep experience in transaction processing and will leverage the
 Company's leading payment processing and customer service infrastructure to
 address the specific processing needs of merchants within specific industry
 verticals and independent sales organizations," said American Capital Vice
 President John Neis. "The merchant acquiring industry provides
 fundamentally attractive growth opportunities for TransFirst as
 increasingly more small and medium size merchants accept electronic
 payments. The Company can continue to focus on expansion into several
 high-growth merchant markets that remain under-served, yet have great
 growth potential."
     American Capital originally invested in TransFirst in April 2004,
 supporting TransFirst's acquisition of the third party and agent bank
 merchant division of Fifth Third Bank Processing Solutions. Founded in
 1995, Dallas- based TransFirst is a provider of a complete line of merchant
 credit and debit transaction processing services, including transaction
 authorization, transaction data capture and transmission, merchant
 reporting, merchant acceptance, transaction settlement and clearing,
 real-time transaction monitoring and transaction charge-back solutions.
 TransFirst's customer base is made up of more than 1,200 sales channel
 partners representing approximately 154,000 merchants throughout the U.S.
 In addition to its headquarters, TransFirst also has operating facilities
 in Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas, Wisconsin and California and employs over
 550. TransFirst recorded 2006 net revenue of approximately $130 million for
 the year ending June 30, 2006.
     "We have been partnering with American Capital since 2004 and continue
 to turn to them for debt financing for new investments as well for our
 existing portfolio companies," said GTCR Principal Barry Dunn. "To date,
 they have always been supportive of our strategy at TransFirst."
     For more information about American Capital's original investment in
 TransFirst, go to
     American Capital is a publicly traded buyout and mezzanine fund with
 capital resources of $8.9 billion. American Capital invests in and sponsors
 management and employee buyouts, invests in private equity buyouts,
 provides capital directly to early stage and mature private and small
 public companies and through its asset management business is a manager of
 debt and equity investments in private companies. American Capital provides
 senior debt, mezzanine debt and equity to fund growth, acquisitions,
 recapitalizations and securitizations. American Capital invests up to $400
 million per company.
     As of August 31, 2006, American Capital shareholders have enjoyed a
 total return of 476% since the Company's IPO -- an annualized return of
 21%, assuming reinvestment of dividends. American Capital has paid a total
 of $1.2 billion in dividends and paid or declared $21.56 dividends per
 share since its August 1997 IPO at $15 per share.
     Companies interested in learning more about American Capital's flexible
 financing should contact Mark Opel, Senior Vice President, Business
 Development, at (800) 248-9340, or visit our website at
     Founded in 1980, GTCR Golder Rauner is a leading private equity
 investment firm and long-term strategic partner for management teams. GTCR
 currently manages more than $8 billion of equity and mezzanine capital
 invested in a wide range of companies and industries.
     Performance data quoted above represents past performance of American
 Capital. Past performance does not guarantee future results and the
 investment return and principal value of an investment in American Capital
 will likely fluctuate. Consequently, an investor's shares, when sold, may
 be worth more or less than their original cost. Additionally, American
 Capital's current performance may be lower or higher than the performance
 data quoted above.
     This press release contains forward-looking statements. The statements
 regarding expected results of American Capital Strategies are subject to
 various factors and uncertainties, including the uncertainties associated
 with the timing of transaction closings, changes in interest rates,
 availability of transactions, changes in regional, national or
 international economic conditions, or changes in the conditions of the
 industries in which American Capital has made investments.

SOURCE American Capital Strategies Ltd.