First Bank adds private equity fund banking unit

First Bank announced Wednesday that it is expanding its commercial lending service offerings to now service private equity funds and their portfolio companies.

The community bank will now offer capital call lines of credit, working capital lines of credit and financing for the private equity firms and their portfolio companies.

First Bank CEO Patrick Ryan said the effort will help assist the entrepreneurial community.

“As an entrepreneur myself, I understand the challenges that private equity groups encounter,” he said. “We’re relationship-focused community bankers who know entrepreneurs are an important part of our economy. That’s why First Bank continues to be nimble, creative and responsive to their needs.”

Through the capital call line of credit, First Bank will provide working capital to private equity firms so they can move quickly and produce better equity returns. This type of facility is typically used to bridge gaps between the timing of acquisitions and receipt on incoming capital from private equity group investors.

With the working capital lines of credit, First Bank will provide capital to private equity groups for general purposes, such as short-term needs and payment of obligations.

First Bank also will provide acquisition financing for the purchase of portfolio companies, in addition to banking services for portfolio companies owned by the private equity groups. Portfolio companies have traditional commercial banking needs like deposit and cash management services, along with term loans and working capital lines of credit.

Ryan said supporting entrepreneurs and private equity groups is part of First Bank’s history.

Ryan was part of an investment group that recapitalized First Bank with $20 million in late 2008. Prior to the acquisition, he gained valuable entrepreneurial insight in mergers & acquisitions on Wall Street. Based on its most recent quarterly filing, First Bank has $2.57 billion in assets.