Equipment leasing company Granite Financial Inc. last week christened a new securitization program, launching a $175 million commercial paper offering that was set to close near press time.

The deal, which is led by Prudential Securities, is Granite's seventh to date, and features a financial guaranty from MBIA Inc.

The transaction marks the beginning of what will be an increase in volume and triggers a quarterly pattern of issuance for Denver-based Granite. The CP conduit, dubbed GF7, will replace the warehouse line that Granite had previously used to store its equipment lease collateral.

Granite's offering also represents an increase in deal size. Though the company's last transaction was $60 million, the lessor expects to continue to ramp up transaction size as originations grow.

"With this new facility, we will deposit leases into the conduit every month, and then go to a term securitization quarterly," said Al Stinson, executive vice president of financial operations of Fidelity National Title, Granite's parent company. "For all practical purposes, it becomes a warehouse line." Stinson had traveled to San Francisco to close the deal near press time.

Granite is a small ticket equipment lease company with offices both in Denver and the Golden, Colo., area. Bob Murphy was recently hired as CEO of Fidelity National, which is based in Santa Barbara, Calif. - SK

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