Headway Corporate Resources Inc., a human resources firm specializing in financial services, has tapped a longtime client for a $110 million financing.
NationsBank Corp. on Tuesday launched syndication of a $75 million loan for Headway, which owns the Whitney Group executive search firm.
The loan will be followed later this quarter by a $35 million private placement of debt and equity managed by NationsBanc Montgomery Securities, Charlotte, N.C.-based NationsBank's investment banking unit.
New York-based Headway had long banked with ING Capital Corp., said Barry S. Roseman, president and chief operating officer of Headway. But after placing several executives and investment bankers at NationsBank and Montgomery Securities, it decided to turn to the companies for financing.
"NationsBank has been a client of the Whitney Group for quite a few years now, and when we were looking to refinance the organization we really were looking for not just a strong commercial bank, but a company that could bring the whole capital markets together for us," he said.
"It was kind of an obvious move for us to talk to those guys, and they were extremely enthusiastic from the first conversation," he added.
NationsBank, which acquired Montgomery Securities last year, declined to comment on the financing.
ING Capital, a unit of the Netherlands' ING Groep NV, bought Furman Selz Inc., a New York investment bank, last year. Still, Mr. Roseman said, Headway executives were concerned that ING would not be able to provide it with sufficient access to the capital markets.
"We're looking for someone to get us exposure to the capital markets," said Mr. Roseman. ING was limited in its ability to do so, even through Furman Selz, because the firm "doesn't really have an analyst covering this industry."
"It's very important for us to get some sponsorship and exposure for our stock as well as to raise some money on the debt side," he said.
ING declined to comment.
Headway will use the funds to back its program of strategic acquisitions, as well as for refinancing debt and other corporate purposes.
The company has completed nine acquisitions in four states in the last two years and is negotiating with nearly a dozen more acquisition candidates, Mr. Roseman said.
Among the 12 banks invited to the Tuesday meeting, several, "particularly NationsBank, have been involved with staffing industry consolidations before very successfully," he said.
Commitments to the loan are due Feb. 17, and Headway expects to close the financing by March 12.