Birch Communications Completes Refinancing to Provide Substantial Capital for Continued Growth $110 Million to fund future acquisitions, continued network growth, retirement of existing debt

ATLANTA, July 23, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Birch Communications, a leading IP-based telecommunications and managed services provider to small- and medium-sized businesses, is pleased to announce that it has completed a refinancing of its Senior and Subordinated Credit Facilities.  The new $90 million facility consists of a $40 million senior term loan, a senior revolving credit facility with a $35 million capacity, and a $15 million tranche of subordinated debt.  Additionally, the Senior Credit Facility contains an "accordion" feature which gives Birch the option to increase the Senior Credit Facility by $20 million.  Birch will use this new financing to repay outstanding indebtedness, fund future acquisitions, and fund continued network expansion.

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"Our company's results to date have shown that investing in Birch makes good business sense.  This is a transformative refinancing for us and it will further strengthen our capital structure, lower our overall cost of debt, increase our free cash flow and provide us with substantial flexibility to pursue opportunities to grow our enterprise," noted Edward James, Birch's senior vice president and chief financial officer.

"This funding is confirmation of the soundness of Birch's overall business strategy, as well as our ability to execute at a very high level," said Vincent M. Oddo, Birch's president and chief executive officer. "I am pleased that this funding will allow us to continue to seek accretive acquisitions, expand our proprietary IP-network, and also allow us to expand the scope of our current products and services to better serve our large existing base of customers."

Bank of America Merrill Lynch led the senior (term and revolver) and accordion components of the financing along with PNC Bank, National Association, a member of The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc.  The subordinated debt was provided by Kayne Anderson Mezzanine Partners, LP.  North Sea Partners LLC was the advisor to Birch for the subordinated debt.

About Birch Communications

Headquartered in Atlanta, Ga., Birch Communications provides managed communications and information technology services to a target market of small and medium-sized businesses in select metropolitan areas within 38 states across the United States.  Birch services include local and long distance voice, broadband Internet access, T1, PRI, bonded T1, mobile voice and data, e-mail, voice mail, prepaid, and many other communications and information technology services.  Birch voice and data services are, in most cases, delivered using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology on the company's secure IP-Network rather than over the public Internet. 

According to Inc. 500|5000 magazine in its 2011, 2010, 2009 and 2004 rankings, Birch was one of the fastest-growing private companies in the United States.  In 2010, Birch was also named the 7th fastest growing private business in Atlanta, and in 2011 as one of the Top 100 Private Companies in Atlanta, by the Atlanta Business Chronicle.  Please visit www.birch.com for more information.

Bank of America

Bank of America is one of the world's largest financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small- and middle-market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk management products and services. The company provides unmatched convenience in the United States, serving approximately 56 million consumer and small business relationships with approximately 5,600 retail banking offices and approximately 16,200 ATMs and award-winning online banking with 30 million active users. Bank of America is among the world's leading wealth management companies and is a global leader in corporate and investment banking and trading across a broad range of asset classes, serving corporations, governments, institutions and individuals around the world. Bank of America offers industry-leading support to approximately 4 million small business owners through a suite of innovative, easy-to-use online products and services. The company serves clients through operations in more than 40 countries. Bank of America Corporation stock is a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average and is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

"Bank of America Merrill Lynch" is the marketing name for the global banking and global markets businesses of Bank of America Corporation. Lending, derivatives, and other commercial banking activities are performed globally by banking affiliates of Bank of America Corporation, including Bank of America, N.A., member FDIC. Securities, strategic advisory, and other investment banking activities are performed globally by investment banking affiliates of Bank of America Corporation ("Investment Banking Affiliates"), including, in the United States, Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated and Merrill Lynch Professional Clearing Corp., all of which are registered broker dealers and members of FINRA and SIPC, and, in other jurisdictions, by locally registered entities. Investment products offered by Investment Banking Affiliates: Are Not FDIC Insured * May Lose Value * Are Not Bank Guaranteed. ©2012 Bank of America Corporation.

Visit www.bankofamerica.com/businesscapitalnews for more information. 

About PNC

The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (www.pnc.com) is one of the nation's largest diversified financial services organizations providing retail and business banking; residential mortgage banking; specialized services for corporations and government entities, including corporate banking, real estate finance and asset-based lending; wealth management and asset management.

About Kayne Anderson Mezzanine Partners, L.P.

Kayne Anderson Mezzanine Partners ("KAMP"), with offices in New York, Houston, and Los Angeles is part of the middle market debt platform at Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors, L.P. ("Kayne Anderson"), a $15.5 billion investment management firm with over 28 years successful experience in the energy, growth capital, real estate and middle market credit sectors.  Kayne Anderson provides senior secured bank debt, mezzanine debt and equity to middle market companies.  With $750 million in available capital, Kayne Anderson provides complete capital solutions for companies in a variety of different industries predominantly across North America.  For more information, please visit www.kaynecapital.com.

About North Sea Partners LLC

North Sea Partners is an independent investment banking firm that provides capital structure advisory services, merger and acquisition advisory and execution services, direct placements and client trading services. The firm provides new issue advisory services in the high yield, loan syndication, mezzanine and equity markets, debt restructuring advisory services, direct placements of loans, mezzanine and hybrid securities and secondary trading executions for corporations, private equity firms, banks and institutional investors. With offices in New York and London, the firm's professional team has significant experience across major industry segments, as well as all sectors of the credit markets. Since inception in 2009, North Sea has provided capital markets advisory and execution services for more than 30 corporations, institutions and private equity sponsors. The firm has advised on over $35 billion of transactions globally for clients, including Advent International, Algeco Scotsman, Blackstone, Bridgepoint, Foodcorp, House of Fraser, Independent News and Media, Ineos, Loehmann's, Loew's Corporation, Universal Trailer Holdings Corp. and 3i, among others.

North Sea executes securities transactions through its wholly-owned FINRA registered subsidiary, North Sea Securities LP. North Sea Partners LLP, the firm's London subsidiary, is registered with the Financial Services Authority. To learn more about North Sea Partners, please visit the company's website at: www.nspartnersllc.com.

 

SOURCE Birch Communications



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