Encina Capital, Oaktree Affiliate Launch Independent ABL Platform

Encina Capital Partners, an investment firm focused on specialized lending and leasing platforms, and an affiliate of certain funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management launched Encina Business Credit (EBC), an independent asset-based lending platform targeting middle-market borrowers in the U.S. and Canada that cannot obtain required financing from traditional banks.

Marty Battaglia will lead EBC. Battaglia is a 30-year industry veteran who has been instrumental in building highly successful ABL platforms at PPM America and LaSalle Business Credit. Tron Allen, based in Houston, will lead origination efforts in the Southwest Region, while Jim Kelly will lead origination efforts in the Midwest Region from St. Louis. Janet Klinger, based in Chicago with Battaglia, brings 30 years of experience to her role of vice president and operations manager. EBC is underwriting potential transactions and expects to announce numerous additional hires in originations and risk management in the coming weeks.

In addition to representatives from Encina Capital and Oaktree Investor, EBC’s board includes two former officers from GE: Paul Bossidy and William Brasser. Bossidy is the former CEO of GE Commercial Equipment Financing, which was the world’s largest equipment finance company with approximately $100 billion in assets and $1.2 billion in net income. Brasser was previously chief risk officer at GE Capital, Americas, where he served as co-head of the credit and risk function for a $90 billion portfolio in North America. Bossidy and Brasser are both senior advisors to Encina Capital.

Headquartered in Chicago, EBC provides revolving lines of credit and term loans, ranging in size from $5 million to $50 million, secured by accounts receivable, inventory, machinery, equipment and real estate. The platform lends to both privately-owned (sponsor and non-sponsor) and publicly-traded companies across a wide range of industries, including manufacturing, retail, automotive, oil and gas, services, distribution and consumer products. Borrowers use loan proceeds to fund working capital, acquisitions, refinancings, growth, restructurings/turnarounds, debtor-in-possession/exit financings and other special situations. Positive cash flow is not a requirement.

Battaglia said, “I’ve wanted to launch a platform like this for some time, but the stars haven’t aligned until now. With Encina Capital and Oaktree Investor as financial partners, we have the financial wherewithal to build a large, diversified portfolio while retaining the flexibility to provide our borrowers with customized solutions that address their needs. I also feel fortunate that my team and I will have access to industry heavyweights like Paul Bossidy and Willie Brasser for strategic and operational support.”

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