Texas-based First Sierra Financial Inc. will launch a $157 million equipment-backed securitization within the next couple of weeks, said Sierra's Senior Vice President and Treasurer, Roger Gebhart.

"We're just trying to finalize the details," Gebhart said. "We're real close to getting it done."

First Union Capital Markets is managing the deal, with Nesbitt Burns Securities Inc. and PNC Capital Markets acting as co-managers.

"It's going to look like most of their other deals, with an average life ranging from 0.42 to 2.9 years," said a banker close to the transaction. He said the specifics in terms of time and spread will depend on coming market conditions and "what sort of supply is on the market."

"We're trying to get the best execution for the issuer," he said. "You try to go when it feels the most advantageous for the company."

The current plan is to launch the offering in seven parts, four triple-A classes, and three privately sold subordinates - an A-rated class, a triple-B, and a double-B.

The pending sale will mark Sierra's second equipment-backed ABS deal this year. Their last deal, also managed by First Union, was in April and priced at $272 million.

"We always try to do a couple a year," said Gebhardt, who said the proceeds are usually spent refinancing existing leases.

First Sierra purchases and manages equipment leases and services in a wide range of markets. Products include computers, automotive equipment, food service equipment and industrial supplies.

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