Palladium Portfolio Company Wise Foods Receives the M&A Advisor’s ’Refinancing of the Year’ Award
Wise Foods, Inc. ("Wise"), one of the largest manufacturers of potato chips and salty snacks on the eastern seaboard, today announced that it has been awarded The M&A Advisor’s 2010 "Refinancing of the Year" award for the successful refinancing of its credit facilities in 2009.Wise was acquired by an affiliate of Palladium Equity Partners, LLC ("Palladium") in 2000. Since then, Palladium has worked with Wise management to strengthen distribution of the company’s products, increase sales, and improve operational efficiency. In September 2009, Palladium worked with Wise to successfully complete a new $25 million credit facility, including a revolving credit line and term loan, with GMAC Commercial Finance and Siemens Financial Services, Inc. In the year leading up to the refinancing, Wise increased gross profits by more than 25 percent and reduced its total debt balance by $13 million, or more than 40 percent."We are very pleased with the progress Wise has made in a challenging environment, and view the successful completion of its financing facility as recognition of its accomplishments and superior position for the future," said Gary D. Nusbaum, a Managing Director at Palladium. "We’re grateful to The M&A Advisor for this acknowledgment and to Wise Foods’ Chief Executive Officer, Ed Lambert, and Chief Financial Officer, Mike Scott, for their leadership of the refinancing. Wise was able to complete the refinancing in a difficult credit environment and at the same time significantly reduce its debt, making new resources available for growth projects.""Wise very much appreciated the support of Palladium, GMAC, and Siemens in completing this refinancing," said Mr. Scott. "The employees of Wise have worked diligently to strengthen the company and we are gratified with the market opportunities that this facility creates for us.""Due to the company’s strong financial performance and solid management team, we were able to complete the refinancing in an extremely challenging credit environment," said Anthony Casciano of Siemens Financial Services, Inc., which served as lender and syndication agent for the new credit facility. "Since the refinancing, Wise has maintained its strong performance, and we are pleased to continue to support the company."Founded in 1921, Wise Foods, Inc. is a private company based in Berwick, Pennsylvania that makes and sells salty snacks on the eastern seaboard of the United States. Best known for its potato chips, Wise also offers other salty snack products which include cheese snacks, popcorn, tortilla chips and corn chips. The company’s brands include Wise Potato Chips, New York Deli Kettle Cooked Potato Chips, Ridgies Potato Chips, Cheez Doodles, and Dipsy Doodles Corn Chips.Palladium Equity Partners, LLC, along with its affiliates ("Palladium") targets investments in business services companies as well as in financial services, consumer/retail, food/restaurants, healthcare, manufacturing and media businesses. Palladium has a focus on companies that are well-positioned to capitalize on the fast-growing U.S. Hispanic market. The principals of Palladium have directed investments of over $2.5 billion of equity in more than 60 portfolio companies over the last two decades.GMAC Commercial Finance (GMAC CF) is a subsidiary of GMAC Financial Services, a bank holding company with 15 million customers worldwide. As a global financial services institution, GMAC’s business operations include automotive finance, mortgage operations, insurance and commercial finance.The company also offers retail banking products through its online bank, Ally Bank. GMAC CF is one of the most trusted sources of capital for the North American middle-market businesses it serves, providing a full breadth of finance products in the $15 million to $500 million (USD) range. As of Dec. 31, 2009, GMAC had approximately $172 billion in assets. Visit the GMAC media site at http://media.gmacfs.com for more information.Siemens Financial Services, Inc. (SFS Inc.) is a committed business ally that combines deep industry expertise with integrated financing solutions to enhance the efficiency, productivity, and competitiveness of its customers. The company, based in Iselin, NJ, enables business expansion for customers in the healthcare, energy, and industrial sectors.