Abacus backs an online fashion boutique

The New York-based lender is providing credit in the Lulu's Fashion Lounge's acquisition by H.I.G. and will also be buying some of its own equity in the company

Abacus Finance Group, the New York-based lender, is providing a senior secured credit facility in a leveraged recapitalization of online fashion retailer, Lulu’s Fashion Lounge, by private equity firm HIG Growth Partners. Abacus, which provides debt financing to middle-market companies in private equity sponsored deals, was the administrative agent and sole lead arranger in the transaction. The debt firm also made an equity co-investment in Lulu’s. 

Lulu’s (not to be confused with the popular yoga and sportswear retailer Lululemon, which coincidentally also recently sold a 27.7 percent  private equity stake to Advent International) is headquartered in Chico, CA. The company is an online retailer of young women’s clothing, shoes and accessories.

Boston-based HIG Growth Partners is the growth-focused affiliate of HIG Capital, a global private equity firm with $15 billion in capital under management. “HIG’s investment strategy matches up well with our focus on smaller middle market companies,” Tim Clifford, president and ceo of Abacus Finance, said in the news release. “They brought us a terrific company, and we were so impressed by the business model and the management team that we chose to make an equity co-investment,” he added. 

Abacus team members involved in the transaction included Sean McKeever and Eric Petersen. RLJ Credit provided the mezzanine financing, and legal counsel was provided to Abacus by Goulston & Storrs.

Formed in June 2011, Abacus targets debt financing opportunities of up to $50 million with a typical hold size ranging from $10 million to $25 million. The companies it finances generally have EBITDA between $3 million and $15 million. Abacus is an affiliate of New York Private Bank & Trust, the holding company for Emigrant Bank, which was founded in 1850.