GE Antares fills in debt in children’s publisher acquisition

The lender has arranged a $138 million senior credit facility for the PE buyout of Bendon, a designer and producer of children’s coloring books and other products.  

GE Antares has issued a $138 million senior secured credit facility to support the acquisition of children’s publisher Bendon by private equity firm Irving Place Capital. Parent GE Capital Markets served as joint lead arranger and joint bookrunner on this facility, GE announced on 7 April.

Bendon is a provider of non-licensed and licensed children’s coloring books and activity products. The company was founded in 2002 and is headquartered in Ashland, Ohio, Bendon sells products such as coloring and activity books, kits, sets and play packs, puzzles and other early childhood development games.

“A proven market leader, Bendon is a welcome addition to the GE Antares portfolio,” Gina Provenzale, senior vice president of GE Antares, said in a statement. “Bendon’s longstanding relationships with their customers and product innovation position them for continued growth, organically and through acquisitions,” she added.

Irving Place Capital completed its acquisition of Bendon at the end of last month. IPC acquired the company from The Wicks Group, a New York-based mid-market private equity firm that had purchased a majority stake in Bendon in February 2012.

Based in New York City, IPC is a mid-market private equity firm that invests in buyouts, recapitalizations, and growth capital opportunities. The firm focuses on making control or entrepreneur-driven investments in retail and consumer, industrial and packaging companies. Since its formation in 1997, IPC has invested in 60 companies and raised $4 billion of equity capital, including its current $2.7 billion institutional fund.

GE Antares is a unit of GE Capital that focuses on US mid-market private equity sponsor backed transactions. The division has provided $123 billion in financing over the past five years. The firm has offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Toronto and San Francisco.