GE Antares drives senior debt in traffic company buyout

The US lender, which will soon be sold to CPPIB, has arranged a $124.5 million senior credit facility for the PE purchase of Area Wide Protective.  

GE Antares has arranged a $124.5 million senior credit facility to support the acquisition of Area Wide Protective (AWP) by the Riverside Company.

GE Antares served as the administrative agent in the transaction, while GE Capital Markets served as the joint lead arranger and joint bookrunner on the facility, according to a statement. GE Antares is the lending arm of GE Capital that works exclusive on private equity sponsor-backed mid-market transactions.

AWP offers temporary traffic management solutions to a variety of customers, including utilities, utility contractors and telecommunications companies. The company is headquartered in Kent, Ohio and was founded in 1993. The company owns over 800 fully-equipped, late model pick-up trucks and specialty vehicles that deliver traffic control equipment and services to 17 states in the US.

The Riverside Company is a private equity firm focused on acquiring and investing in growing businesses valued at up to $300 million. Since its founding in 1988, Riverside has invested in about 390 transactions. The firm is headquartered in New York and has $4.4 billion in assets under management.

On 9 June, GE announced that it signed an agreement to sell its US sponsor finance business to the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB). The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter this year. Post-closing, the business will operate as Antares Capital.

GE Capital, most of which is in the process of being sold off in pieces by General Electric, has continued to work on many deals amidst the sell-off. The firm has a low cost of capital and can offer attractive terms to borrowers, which have been eager to get transactions signed before the lender in question is sold to a potentially more expensive lender.