Under the brand esoteric comes an array of asset classes. Right now the industry is seeing whole business deals such as the issuance of a $220 million transaction for Church's Chicken earlier this year.
The deal was done through Cajun Global, a special-purpose vehicle. Barclays Capital was the sole structuring adviser and bookrunner. Drive-in restaurant chain Sonic Corp. said last week that some of its subsidiaries are going to refinance their outstanding securitization with a new securitization debt facility. Barclays is also the underwritter on the offering. The firm's units have had a securitized financing facility in place since December 2006.
Last December, Goldman Sachs advised NuCO2 on the issuance of a whole business securitization of notes backed by revenue from the leasing of bulk carbon dioxide systems and the distribution of carbon dioxide to fountain beverage retailers.
Adams Outdoor Advertising issued a third whole business deal in December 2010, which raised $355 million through the sale of bonds backed by billboard revenue. Barclays and Morgan Stanley led that deal.
Outside of the whole business space, industry players say that there has been increased interest in structured settlement esoteric deals. At the end of last year, Peachtree Settlement Funding concluded its fourth securitization in 2010. The transaction consisted of a $106 million placement of bonds backed by structured settlements. The offering was substantially over-subscribed and resulted in very attractive pricing for the organization.
"We are very pleased with the execution we achieved in this transaction," Peachtree CEO Jim Terlizzi said. "This is our fourth structured settlement securitization this year. The investment community has remained highly supportive of our transactions."
However, Peachtree and J.G. Wentworth, another specialty finance issuer and a large player in the structured settlement space, are reportedly in the process of a merger. The merger is likely to strengthen the industry but it will also reduce the number of large players by 50%. "There are a lot of smaller companies that are also in this area doing smaller transactions, but they don't have a lot of volume outside Peachtree and Wentworth," said Gilbert Liu, a partner at Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel.
Pre-settlements are another esoteric asset that is expected to gain momentum. According to Fouad Onbargi, managing director of securitized products at Aladdin Capital, these assets, which are loans to litigants in anticipation of settlements, have never been financed via securitization. However, Aladdin has held discussions with rating firms on behalf of issuers in this segment, and the agencies are currently developing methodology that will work for the structure. "The willingness of the rating agencies to work with us on this asset class is a big development," he said.