SierraCities.com, formerly First Sierra, has been leasing equipment to small businesses since 1994. The company made its debut $65 million securitization in 1996, and has been a regular presence in the sector ever since, with nine deals totaling $1.3 billion.
Houston-based SierraCities is ramping up its hi-tech operations, which includes providing equipment and services for building business to business infrastructures.
Though earlier this year SierraCities had been approved to become a bank holding company, last month it withdrew its application from the Federal Reserve Banking System, stating the company is in the process of potentially dividing its technology and finance operations.
The company declined to comment on how the changes might effect its presence in the securitization market; however, in a release accompanying SierraCities second quarter earnings report, the company stated: "Second quarter operating results were largely impacted by reduced gains from asset sales resulting from a poor secondary asset market during the quarter. The asset sales completed during the quarter resulted in gains of $957,000 compared to $3.5 million in the second quarter of 1999."
Orix Credit Alliance
Though mostly funding its portfolios in the conduit market, the lion's share Orix Credit Alliance's term securitizations have been loans backed by trucking, construction and agricultural equipment - the first portfolio of which debuted in 1993, worth nearly $250 million.
In a past interview with Orix, Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President Joseph McDevitt told ASR that Orix is not at reliant on the term market, and in fact only access the public market to diversify funding - hence the five-year gap between Orix's 1994 deal and 1999 deal.
Considered a larger ticket lender, the New Jersey-based company has been in the equipment finance industry since 1963. Orix last came to market in February with a $290 million deal managed by First Union.
GreatAmerica Leasing Co.
GreatAmerica Leasing Co. issued its first two term deals in 1995 and 1996 for roughly $100 million in proceeds. The company entered the public market in June 2000 with a $235 million deal managed by First Union.
In between 1996 and 2000, GreatAmerica was an active issuer of asset-backed commercial paper.
"We continue to look at alternative funding sources besides securitizations, said Tony Golobic, GreatAmerica's chairman and chief executive officer. "This strategy, however, is not driven by any unusual concerns regarding the securitization market, but rather by a general philosophy that it is prudent to have diversified funding alternatives."
GreatAmerica primarily leases small ticket office equipment, such copiers, faxes, computers, and telephone systems. Though the company is looking at other products to offer, Golobic said, "But any expansion would be targeted at equipment types that play to the company's strengths: specifically, our ability to underwrite and administer large volumes of relatively small transactions efficiently and responsibility."
GreatAmerica's corporate predecessor was formed in Michigan, and moved to Iowa in late 1993 when the existing management was hired to operate the business. The existing management became majority owners of the company in 1998 and the company continues to be privately owned.
Unicapital Corp., a relative newcomer to the term market, first securitized in 1999, with a $370 million Rule 144A offering. Credit Suisse First Boston was manager.
The company has done one securitization this year, worth $300 million, managed by Banc of America Securities.
Earlier this year, Unicapital reported a $276.6 million loss for the first quarter, largely attributable to a write-off incurred as the company exited the big ticket leasing industry. Also, Unicapital suffered losses associated with its aircraft and aircraft engine leasing operations.
Following the announcement of its first quarter losses, Unicapital was bombarded with stockholder lawsuits (see ASR 6/26/00). Late last month, the company sold 18 aircrafts to Lehman Brothers, for more than $20 million, according to published reports. Around the same time, Unicapital's chairman, chief operating officer and chief credit policy officer and chief financial officer left the company.
CNH, formed in the merger of Case Credit Corp. and New Holland in late last year, has deep roots in the agricultural and machine equipment industry, dating back to the late 1800s, where Case was manufacturing steam engines, and New Holland was building threshing machines.
In the securitization industry, Case has emerged as the equipment sector's No. 1 issuer, with proceeds nearing $8.5 billion on the equipment lease side, and another $2.5 billion in equipment loans. Case has been a yearly issuer since 1992, when it launched its first public deal (backed by equipment loans) for $550 million. Merrill Lynch was lead manager on the transaction.
Most recently, CNH filed an S-3 with the Securities & Exchange Commission to sell as much as $4 billion in equipment backed securities. Case last came to market in March of this year with a $1.1 billion led by Salomon Smith Barney.
The company, which is affiliated with Italian-based Fiat SpA, has also issued via lead managers J.P. Morgan, and Credit Suisse First Boston.
Copelco Capital, one of the industry's first securitizers, has completed dozens of equipment-backed transactions for more than $5 billion in proceeds.
While the company has privately placed the bulk of its early deals, Copelco began accessing the public market from time to time in 1993. The company's most recent deal, worth more than $1 billion, priced in April.
Late last year Copelco was acquired by Citigroup, which many industry watchers say may hamper Copelco's pattern of regular issuance, as the company is now better capitalized and less reliant on the capital markets for funding.
Copelco, which is based in New Jersey, has been active in the equipment finance industry since 1972. The company is most active in the small ticket equipment leasing, providing funding for the office technology, healthcare, electronics and industrial equipment markets
DVI Financial Services
Focusing on large ticket medical equipment, DVI Financial Services has securitized nearly $2 billion in equipment leases, privately placing its first-ever deal back in 1991.
In addition to equipment leases and loans, the company dabbles in other sectors, including trade receivables and healthcare receivables.
Last year Pennsylvania-based DVI acquired Affiliated Capital Corp., a 15-year-old small-ticket medical equipment leasing company, building on a previous acquisition of Third Coast Capital, a leasing company that provides financing to emerging growth companies.
DVI has been an active player in the globalization of the securitization industry, having recently taken part in cross border medical equipment receivables transaction involving leases originated in Brazil (see Brazil story, page 2).
On the domestic end, DVI brought its most recent transaction via Prudential Securities, though the company has worked with Credit Suisse First Boston, Lehman Brothers, and Greenwich Capital Markets in the past.
The CIT Group
Through The CIT Group's acquisition of Newcourt Credit in 1999, and Newcourt's acquisition of AT&T Capital the year before, the combined entity umbrellas a substantial $6 billion portion of outstanding equipment securitizations, dating back to AT&T's market entrance in 1996.
Currently, CIT primarily originates leases for telecommunications, computer and medical equipment.
The New Jersey-based lender, which has roots dating back to 1908, boasts $50 billion in assets under management. Throughout the 1990's, CIT was owned in majority by Dai-Ichi Kangyo Bank, although, since the company's initial public offering in 1997, the DKB's stake has fallen to 44% from 80%.
In addition to equipment, CIT has maintained a presence in the recreational vehicle sector, which accounts for $2.4 billion of CIT's $10.4 billion in total proceeds. The company is also active in boat loans, home equity, manufactured housing and auto receivables.
CIT most recently tapped the market in May, with a $800 million public offering managed by First Union.
Ikon Office Solutions Inc. is a relative newcomer to the equipment leasing sector, with its first deal coming to market in May 1999. With approximately $1.95 million in proceeds, the company has since accessed the market twice.
The Pennsylvania-based firm, which focuses on providing products that facilitate communication in businesses, registered a 1999 fiscal revenues of approximately $5.5 billion. The company also has a global presence, with 900 offices worldwide.
Ikon last came to market in May 2000 with a $497 million offering. Lehman Brothers was lead manager on the company's three transactions.