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NewStar Launches Equipment Finance Business

  • Launched mid-ticket leasing business to finance essential-use equipment for mid-sized companies  
  • Formed talented team of leasing industry veterans led by two seasoned executives  
  • Completed new $75 million credit facility with four-year term to fund new lease origination  
  • Part of strategy to continue building franchise of specialized commercial lending businesses  
  • Expected to be accretive to earnings per share in 2011

BOSTON, Jan. 26, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- NewStar Financial Inc. (Nasdaq:NEWS) announced today that it has formed a team of leasing industry veterans to launch a new equipment finance division of the company and closed a new $75 million credit facility with Wells Fargo Bank, National Association to provide funding for new lease origination. Wells Fargo Securities acted as deal agent. 

NewStar expects to provide an attractive equipment financing alternative for established mid-sized companies that have been hurt by a reduction in the availability of credit from banks and independent lessors sidelined by the credit crisis. The company plans to finance essential-use equipment for mid-sized businesses nationwide. NewStar Equipment Finance will offer traditional direct finance leases with various end-of-term options to fund the purchase of a wide range of equipment types, including manufacturing, technology, healthcare, and telecom equipment. Targeted transaction sizes will range from $500 thousand to $3 million and the company will offer lease lines to meet customers' needs for planned capital expenditures.  The business will focus on companies with annual sales of at least $25 million across a broad array of industries, including business services, healthcare, telecommunications, financial services, education, retail and manufacturing.

NewStar formed an accomplished equipment finance team led by leasing industry veterans, Steve O'Leary and Dave O'Keefe.   The team includes a network of seven independent sales agents with an average of 25 years of experience, led by O'Keefe. They will operate under an agreement with NewStar to directly originate new leases that meet the company's return objectives and credit standards. They will target equipment finance opportunities with our existing borrowers, as well as other portfolio companies owned by private equity firms in addition to an established base of existing customers.   Steve O'Leary, who will lead the equipment finance team, has more than 25 years of experience in the origination, underwriting, syndication and management of equipment finance lease and loan portfolios. He was formerly at Eastern Bank where he founded and managed their middle market leasing business and served on the bank's management council and credit committee. Prior to that, he held various positions with AT&T Capital, Fleet Capital Leasing and Shawmut Bank.    

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