Private Equity Firms Form $1.7B Finance Co.

May 21 2008 | 11:40am ET

A group of well-heeled private equity firms are banding together to make a run at the credit market rather than go at it alone. Aquiline Capital Partners, New Mountain Capital and TPG Capital have formed Tygris Commercial Finance Group, a commercial finance company, with over $1.75 billion in equity commitments to invest in middle-market companies strapped for cash and credit.

The company, based in Chicago and Stamford, Conn., will initially concentrate on developing leading franchise positions in three commercial finance businesses: middle-market corporate finance, middle-market equipment leasing and asset finance, and small-ticket leasing. Frederick Wolfert, formerly vice chairman of commercial finance at CIT Group, is the company's CEO.

Flushed with capital, Tygris has already agreed to buy an equipment finance company headquartered in New Jersey and a middle-market healthcare equipment finance company based in Chicago.

“The credit crisis has clearly made it very challenging for middle market companies to access financing," said Wolfert. "Tygris, with over $1.75 billion in equity commitments, has been created to provide a full range of value-added finance and leasing products to a sector that our senior management team has been dedicated to serving for over 25 years.”

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