Stuart D. Ames, Jenna Seigel and William J. Gross (J. Albert Diaz)
Dealmakers: William J. Gross, Stuart D. Ames and Jenna Seigel
The Deal: The Stearns Weaver attorneys helped arrange $75 million in refinancing for Merchant Cash and Capital LLC from a consortium led by a West Palm Beach-based Comvest Capital II debt fund March 5.
Details: Merchant Cash and Capital LLC is in the business of providing capital funding to small businesses. But when the New York-based financial services firm needed to expand its own debt facilities, it turned to its longtime outside counsel.
That’s where Gross stepped in, working with Ames, a fellow shareholder at Stearns Weaver Miller Weissler Alhadeff & Sitterson, and associate Seigel to refinance and expand a $75 million secured term loan.
Gross has represented Merchant since 2007, working with the company on financing, joint ventures, general corporate transactions, employment matters and form documents. He’d also done business with Comvest and knew the two firms would be a good fit.
The latest transaction was a complex deal in which the attorneys’ job was to refinance four loans at once from four lenders on Merchant Cash’s behalf.
For three weeks, the Stearns Miller team set to work, hammering out the terms of a new deal, renegotiating covenants with the new lender, managing due diligence, detailing agreements with credit card processors, restructuring a multi-lender credit facility and reviewing Merchant’s form agreements to ensure the firm had the necessary flexibility to continue to grow.
It was a collaborative effort with Ames reviewing credit documents and preparing legal opinion, while Seigel engaged the client and collaborated with the lenders’ attorneys.
“It took a lot of leg work,” Gross said.
Goldberg Kohn Ltd. represented Comvest in the deal with two other lenders in play—Community National Bank, represented by Jaspan Schlesinger, and Metropolitan Partners Fund II LP, represented by Blank Rome.
With the refinancing, Merchant Cash and Capital’s total debt facilities reached about $100 million. It was a boost for the financial services firm that has provided more than $635 million in financing and about 28,000 advances to more than 13,000 customers since 2005, according to its marketing information.
Quote: “This infusion of capital provides the company with the resources necessary to pursue its strategic expansion plans, which include investing in technology and product development,” the attorneys said in a statement.
Background: Gross represents companies on debt and equity financing, mergers and acquisitions, real estate joint ventures and specialty commercial financing. Ames is in Stearns Weaver’s corporate department and heads its commercial and asset-based finance practice. Seigel’s practice focuses on general corporate and securities matters in Stearns Weaver’s Miami office.