Gary Prager Joining GB Merchant Partners

Press Release
Boston, MA – GB Merchant Partners, the investment management affiliate of Gordon Brothers Group, today announced that Gary Prager will be joining the firm on July 30th as Managing Director, responsible for running its direct lending operation.

A veteran senior financial executive with over two and a half decades of experience, Mr. Prager will lead GB Merchant Partners seasoned team in continuing to grow its direct lending business of term and mezzanine loans that finance private equity investments, growth plans, leveraged buyouts, asset-based lending, debt restructuring and re-capitalizations.

“Our direct lending business is growing at an accelerated pace,” said Matthew Kahn, Principal and Managing Director, GB Merchant Partners. “Gary’s proven sales, marketing, credit and financial management experience, along with his profit and loss responsibility, is exactly what is needed to sustain our rapid growth and help take us to the next level.”

Mark Schwartz, CEO of Gordon Brothers Group, added, “We are very pleased to bring in such a seasoned executive to head our direct lending operations. We look forward to working closely with Gary to continue to expand the size and scope of our investment activities.”

“I’m very excited to be joining GB Merchant Partners and to lead its lending platform,” commented Gary Prager. “They have a tremendous brand name and are able to offer differentiated and competitive debt products. I look forward to assisting GB Merchant Partners with the growth of their business both domestically and internationally.”

Prior to joining GB Merchant Partners, Mr. Prager worked for over fifteen years as a senior executive at CIT/Business Capital, Inc., and previously held senior level positions with Heller Financial/Leveraged Funding Group and Bank of America. He has a diverse background in providing structured finance and asset-based lending along with the development and management of highly effective sales groups.

Mr. Prager holds a BS in Business Administration from East Carolina University and an MBA in Finance from the University of North Carolina. He has also completed the Advanced Executive Program at the Kellogg School of Business at Northwestern University.

About GB Merchant Partners
GB Merchant Partners, www.gbmerchantpartners.com, a Gordon Brothers Group company, is the investment management affiliate for Gordon Brothers Group managing approximately $600 million of capital. GB Merchant Partners provides creative debt financing solutions to private and public middle-market companies in the retail, consumer products, distribution, wholesale, industrial and real estate sectors. Debt financings are typically structured as secured or cash flow senior loans, “Tranche B” loans or mezzanine loans for working capital to fund long-term growth, execute an acquisition or facilitate a turnaround. GB Merchant Partners also makes investments in secondary debt including distressed and leveraged loans and bonds, as well as vendor debt and other securities. Recent deals completed include a $19.5M bridge financing for Crystal Cream & Butter Company, a $24.5M financing of Quaker Fabric Corporation, and a Participation in the Sponsor purchase of G.I. Joe’s Inc. GB Merchant Partners also provides equity financing to retail and consumer product companies to fund growth or restructurings in partnership with management. GB Merchant Partners currently owns and manages over 1,600 stores through various portfolio companies including Things Remembered, Andrew Marc, Spencer Gifts, Laura Secord, and Grafton-Fraser.

About Gordon Brothers Group
Founded in 1903, Gordon Brothers Group, www.gordonbrothers.com, is an advisory, restructuring and investment firm specializing in the retail, consumer products, real estate and industrial sectors. The firm provides a wide variety of services to companies at times of growth and restructuring. Gordon Brothers Group capabilities include asset valuations, dispositions and appraisals, real estate consulting and acquisitions, retail store operations, lending, equity investments, restructuring and advisory services. The firm has unparalleled expertise in assisting healthy and distressed companies in maximizing the value of under-performing assets and expanding operations through new products and distribution channels. Gordon Brothers Group resources include over 250 professionals and 200 field experts, including former CEOs, CFOs, merchants and executives in offices worldwide. During the past three years, Gordon Brothers Group has appraised over $100 billion of assets, managed more than 7,000 stores, sold more than $10 billion of inventory and restructured or sold over 120 million square feet of retail space.