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 http://www.americancapital.com/our_portfolio/our_portfolio.cfm. "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 http://www.acas.com/our_portfolio/companies/company.cfm?p_comp=131. ABOUT AMERICAN CAPITAL 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 http://www.AmericanCapital.com. ABOUT GTCR GOLDER RAUNER 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.