CIT Group on Monday announced a plan to boost lending to midsize companies through a joint venture with the insurance company Allstate.

The New York-based CIT said in a press release that it will provide revolving and term-loan commitments of between $15 million and $100 million to companies across “various industries and business cycles.”

The joint venture, given the name CIT Northbridge, will provide asset-based debt products that are typically not provided by traditional banks, according to the release. Products and services offered by the venture include management buyouts, bridge financing, acquisition financing, recapitalizations and restructurings.

Timely move
CIT's partnership with Allstate coincides with its effort to boost core business lending. Business loans fell 4% in the first quarter at CIT. Bloomberg News

“CIT Northbridge further advances our efforts to grow our commercial lending franchise by leveraging CIT's extensive experience in financing, leasing and advisory services, and Allstate's investment expertise and capital,” Jim Hudak, president of commercial finance at CIT, said in the release.

The announcement comes as CIT looks to boost its core business lending as it transforms itself into a traditional commercial bank. Business loans have declined steadily in recent months, falling 4% as of March 31 from a year earlier to $24.4 billion.

Russ Mayerfield, a managing director with Allstate, said in the release that the partnership will allow the Northbrook, Ill., insurance company to expand its alternative investment portfolio.

Deutsche Bank served as an adviser to CIT.

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