Fort Dearborn Partners
Senior Debt Refinancing
John Hofmeister & Son, Inc.
John Hofmeister & Son, Inc. ("Hofmeister" or the "Company") is pleased to announce that is has refinanced its senior debt through a replacement loan by American Chartered Bank.
Founded in Chicago in 1947, Hofmeister is a family-owned manufacturer of a full line of ham and pork products. The Company produces whole hams, logs, and sliced products for private label and under the Old Warsaw, Hof Haus, Ham Du Jour, and Hofmeister brand names.
During 2013 and 2014, unique events impacting the pork market resulted in dramatic increases in Hofmeister's raw material input costs and the Company's financial performance suffered. During this time, the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (PEDv) caused serious concerns surrounding the availability of supply and resulted in unprecedented volatility and all-time highs in pork pricing.
In Q4 2014, the Company's senior lender sold its position to a debt fund that indicated it wanted to exit the credit. Fort Dearborn was engaged by Hofmeister to identify alternative debt financing sources and assist the Company and its counsel, Adelman & Gettleman, Ltd. ("A&G"), in negotiating a settlement with the debt-buyer.
During 2015, Fort Dearborn helped the Company implement strategies to improve profitability and cash flow. Additionally, the pork market stabilized and management's efforts to grow sales began to take hold. As a result, Fort Dearborn was able to successfully obtain a traditional commercial bank financing solution for Hofmeister.
The Company, Fort Dearborn, and A&G successfully negotiated a discounted payoff amount with the debt-buyer, and American Chartered Bank provided a term debt facility to finance the buyout. Further, American Chartered provided a revolving line of credit to support the Company's growth.
"Early in the process, it appeared that obtaining financing would be a challenge and that traditional financing would be very, very difficult. The hard work, professionalism and dedication of both Fort Dearborn and A&G were critical to securing a successful and optimal outcome for Hofmeister. The new credit facility removes a longstanding capital constraint and allows me to focus completely on our business, continued growth and profitability moving forward." - Matthew Hofmeister, President.
In order to successfully navigate challenging debt restructurings and refinancings like the Hofmeister deal, Fort Dearborn draws on its expertise in capital markets and a comprehensive suite of consulting and investment banking services designed specifically to serve middle market companies.