ABACUS LEADS FINANCING FOR TRIVEST PARTNERS'
INVESTMENT IN GROUP III


September 2011 - Abacus Finance Group, LLC (Abacus), a recently formed New York-based specialty finance company, announced today that it served as Administrative Agent and Joint Lead Arranger for $32.5 million in senior secured credit facilities to support the recapitalization of Group III International, Ltd. (Group III) by management and Trivest Partners, L.P. (Trivest). In addition to arranging the financing, Abacus, which focuses exclusively on providing cash flow financing for private equity-sponsored, lower middle-market companies nationwide, made an equity co-investment in Group III.  Abacus was joined in the financing by Madison Capital Funding LLC with legal counsel provided by Goulston & Storrs LLP.

Group III, based in Pompano Beach, Fl., is a designer and marketer of the universally recognized Wenger (maker of the Genuine Swiss Army Knife) brand for travel/work gear including luggage, backpacks, computer bags and other products.  Miami-based Trivest is a private investment firm that focuses on partnering with founder/family owned businesses across the United States and Canada. 

"This is our third transaction with Tim Clifford and his team,” commented Trivest Principal Forest Wester, “and once again they streamlined the approval process and gave us certainty of close – two factors that were critical for us.  Equally important, Abacus knows the consumer products sector and offered a transaction structure that was flexible enough to accommodate strategic initiatives that we felt to be important. Abacus has become a go-to lender for us.  We trust them, and they are great to work with.”

"Our investment team was excited to partner once again with a great firm like Trivest,” said Timothy Clifford, President and CEO of Abacus. “As in prior transactions, they brought us a quality financing opportunity.  Group III’s founder, Joy Tong, and CEO John Pulichino – who will remain with the company – have built a remarkable enterprise with a first class roster of customers throughout the world.  This transaction offered us an opportunity to put Abacus's Total Partnership Approach – speed, certainty of close, industry experience, and flexibility in transaction structuring – to work on behalf of Trivest. 

"This is our second closing since Abacus’s formation in June, and, with an additional $86.5 million in senior debt financings on track to close over the next 60 days, we are clearly beginning to build momentum in the lower middle-market, our single area of focus."

About Group III International Ltd.

Group III International Ltd. is a rapidly growing designer and marketer of the highly recognized Wenger (maker of the Genuine Swiss Army Knife) brand for travel/work gear including luggage, backpacks, computer bags and other products. Through its design expertise, strong offshore manufacturing partnerships and well defined distribution model, Group III has achieved significant market share in the travel/work gear category.  The Company, founded in 1984, is based in Pompano Beach, Florida and has a diverse customer base which includes blue-chip names such as Target, Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club, Ross, Marshalls and Meijer, among many others. 

About Trivest Partners

Trivest Partners is a private investment firm that focuses on partnering with founder/family owned businesses in the United States and Canada. The Firm is currently investing Trivest Fund IV with over $325 million of committed capital. Since its founding in 1981, Trivest has completed more than 170 transactions, totaling more than $4.6 billion in value. For additional information, please visit www.trivest.com.

About Abacus Finance

Abacus Finance, formed in June 2011 as an affiliate of New York Private Bank & Trust and its subsidiary Emigrant Bank, is a lower middle-market focused, specialty finance company that provides cash flow-based senior and subordinated debt financing to private equity-sponsored companies nationwide. Abacus targets debt financing opportunities of up to $50 million with a typical hold size ranging from $10 million to $25 million, and the companies it finances typically have EBITDA between $3 million and $15 million.  Abacus is headquartered at 6 East 43rd Street, 20th Floor, New York, NY 10017.  All inquiries and investment opportunities should be directed to Tim Clifford at 212-850-4620 or at cliffordt@abacusfinance.com.  Please visit  www.abacusfinance.com for more information.