HJ Baker Tombstone for Web

H.J. Baker & Bro., LLC

Business Description

Founded in 1850, and headquartered in Shelton, CT, H.J. Baker & Bro., LLC (“HJB” or the “Company”) is a fifth-generation family-owned company that operates as an international importer, exporter, manufacturer, and sales agent for sulphur products and related products.

In June 2019, the Company acquired the global distribution and trading operations of Oxbow Sulphur (formerly International Commodities Export Corp (“ICEC”)) from Oxbow Carbon. Following the transaction, HJBJ rebranded Oxbow Sulphur back to “ICEC, an HJB Co.”). Combined, it is the largest independent marketer of sulphur and sulphur related products in the world, and manages an estimated 15% of the global movements of sulphur.

Background

In order to expedite the closing of the ICEC transaction, HJB financed the purchase with family equity along with an interim debt facility from its incumbent lender intended to bridge the gap to close. As anticipated, immediately following the consummation of the acquisition, the Company’s objectives were to recapitalize the business/balance sheet with a more prudent, flexible and long-term financing solution to allow for additional working capital flexibility and to support the future growth of the organization.

As certain principals of CMG served as exclusive advisors on the ICEC acquisition, CMG was then hired to conduct a disciplined and time-sensitive process to identify potential financing partners and usher a successful transaction.

Solution

From an early stage, BMO Harris Bank, a U.S. subsidiary of the Bank of Montreal ("BMO") was considered a strong, potential partner for H.J. Baker.  Led by its Food, Consumer and Agribusiness Specialty Group, BMO was able to analyze, underwrite and close this $100MM international debt financing in a matter of a few weeks. The multinational debt package, which will be syndicated, included an asset backed line of credit, a specialized equipment finance term loan as well as a cash flow based term loan.