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First Union Arranges Debt Financing For Willis Stein & Partners' Acquisition Of Petersen Publishing Co.

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Nov. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- First Union has structured and arranged $360 million in debt financing for Willis Stein & Partners in connection with its purchase of Petersen Publishing Company, one of the nation's largest publishers of special-interest consumer magazines.

The financing included $100 million of senior subordinated notes and $260 million of senior secured credit facilities syndicated by First Union Capital Markets Corp. (FUCMC).

The senior subordinated notes marked the first high-yield transaction in which FUCMC served as lead underwriter. FUCMC is the investment banking subsidiary of Charlotte-based First Union Corp.

Proceeds from the senior subordinated notes were used to repay a bridge loan provided to Willis Stein & Partners by First Union Corp. and CIBC, Inc., in connection with the acquisition of Petersen Publishing. CIBC Wood Gundy Securities Corp. served as joint book-running manager on the subordinated notes and documentation agent on the senior credit facilities. First Union's relationship with Willis Stein & Partners originated through First Union's Media and Communications Finance Group.

Willis Stein & Partners, a Chicago investment firm, and a group of other investors including the Dunning Group, completed its acquisition of Petersen Publishing on Sept. 30.

First Union Capital Partners, a subsidiary of First Union Corp., invested $12.5 million of equity in Petersen Publishing as part of the transaction.

"We could not be happier with the work First Union has done to make the acquisition of Petersen Publishing possible," said Dan Blumenthal, a Willis Stein partner. "First Union provided a solid financing structure and seamless execution."

"This transaction is another example of First Union's ability and strategy to provide integrated financial solutions to meet all of the debt and equity needs of our corporate clients," said Mark Mahoney, managing director and head of FUCMC's Investment Banking Group. "By combining First Union's media and communications expertise with our comprehensive capital markets capabilities, we were able to meet all of Willis Stein's financial requirements to close this transaction in a tight time frame."

Petersen Publishing Company is a leading publisher of a diverse portfolio of special-interest magazines. The company's nationally recognized magazines include Motor Trend, Hot Rod and 'TEEN.

FUCMC has served as co-manager on several large high-yield transactions since receiving approval from the Federal Reserve to underwrite corporate debt securities in May 1995. FUCMC recently co-managed a $200-million senior subordinated note issue for FrontierVision Operating Partners, L.P., a $100- million senior secured note issue for ShopVac Corporation, and an $85-million senior secured note issue for Cobb Theatres.

FUCMC offers a broad range of products and services to corporate customers including high-yield debt finance, loan syndications, private placements, merger and acquisition advisory and public finance.

First Union Corp. (NYSE: FTU) provides financial products and services to more than 12 million retail and corporate customers nationwide. First Union is the nation's sixth-largest bank holding company with assets of $134 billion as of Sept. 30, 1996. It has banking operations in 12 Eastern states, as well as in Washington, D.C.

SOURCE First Union Corporation
 -0- 11/26/96

/CONTACT: Mark Folk, First Union Corp., 704-374-2292 or Dan Blumenthal, Willis Stein & Partners, 312-422-2410/


CO: First Union Corporation ST: North Carolina IN: FIN SU:

TL -- CHTU006 -- 4388 11/26/96 12:37 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 26, 1996
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