What is Sponsor-backed Financing?

Last Modified : Jun 05, 2024

Reviewed by: Bruce Sayer

Fact-checked by: Mike Baxter

Sponsor-backed financing is a powerful financial strategy where a financial sponsor, often a private equity firm, provides capital to support the acquisition, growth, or restructuring of a company. This method is particularly prevalent in leveraged buyouts (LBOs) and mergers and acquisitions (M&A). When this approach is combined with the expertise of an asset-based finance (ABF) company, it can create a robust financing solution tailored to the specific needs of a business.

Understanding Sponsor-backed Financing

In sponsor-backed financing, the sponsor plays a crucial role by not only investing equity but also arranging debt financing to maximize returns. The process begins with the sponsor identifying a target company with strong growth potential or operational inefficiencies. After thorough due diligence, the sponsor commits equity and arranges for debt financing, often partnering with financial institutions to complete the transaction.

How Does Sponsor-backed Financing Work?

Sponsor-backed financing involves a financial sponsor, usually a private equity firm, providing both equity and debt to support the acquisition, growth, or restructuring of a company. The process starts with the sponsor identifying a target company with strong growth potential or operational inefficiencies. The sponsor conducts thorough due diligence to assess the company’s financial health and market position.

Once the target is identified, the sponsor structures the deal by committing equity and arranging debt financing from banks or financial institutions. Post-acquisition, the sponsor actively participates in the company’s operations, implementing strategic initiatives and leveraging industry expertise to drive improvements and value creation. Regular performance monitoring ensures the company stays on track to achieve its goals.

The ultimate goal of sponsor-backed financing is to create value and achieve a profitable exit, typically within three to seven years. Common exit strategies include selling the company to a strategic buyer, another private equity firm, or through an initial public offering (IPO). This approach allows companies to access necessary capital and strategic direction, resulting in significant growth and improved performance.

Role of Asset-based Finance Companies

Asset-based finance companies specialize in providing loans secured by the company’s assets, such as accounts receivable, inventory, machinery, and real estate. When partnering with a sponsor, an ABF company can enhance the financing package by leveraging these assets to secure additional funds. This approach allows the business to access more capital while minimizing the risk to the lender.

How the Partnership Works

1. Identification and Due Diligence: The sponsor identifies a target company and conducts due diligence to evaluate its financial health and asset value.

2. Structuring the Deal: The sponsor commits equity to the transaction and partners with an ABF company to arrange debt financing. The ABF company assesses the value of the company’s assets and structures a loan based on this collateral.

3. Acquisition and Growth: With both equity and asset-based debt financing in place, the acquisition is completed. The sponsor works closely with the company’s management to implement strategic initiatives aimed at improving operations and driving growth.

4. Monitoring and Value Creation: The sponsor and ABF company continuously monitor the company’s performance, ensuring that it stays on track to achieve its strategic objectives. The ABF company’s involvement provides additional security, as the loan is backed by tangible assets.

5. Exit Strategy: After a period of value creation, typically three to seven years, the sponsor plans an exit strategy. Common exit routes include selling the company to a strategic buyer, another private equity firm, or through an initial public offering (IPO). The asset-based loan is repaid from the proceeds of the sale.

Example Scenario

Consider a private equity firm, Growth Partners, targeting a manufacturing company, TechFab Industries, for acquisition. Growth Partners identifies significant growth potential but needs a substantial amount of capital to finance the deal.

1. Equity and Asset-based Financing: Growth Partners invests $30 million in equity. They partner with an asset-based finance company that provides $70 million in loans secured by TechFab’s accounts receivable, inventory, and equipment.

2. Operational Enhancements: Post-acquisition, Growth Partners appoints new management and implements a strategic plan to optimize operations and expand product offerings.

3. Growth and Value Creation: Over the next five years, TechFab Industries grows significantly, increasing its revenue and market share.

4. Exit Strategy: Growth Partners sells TechFab Industries to a larger industrial conglomerate for $200 million. The asset-based loan is repaid, and Growth Partners realizes a substantial return on investment.

In this scenario, the combination of sponsor-backed financing and asset-based lending provided TechFab Industries with the necessary capital and strategic direction to achieve substantial growth. This partnership leveraged the strengths of both the sponsor and the ABF company, creating a robust and effective financing solution.


Sponsor-backed financing, especially when combined with asset-based finance, offers a potent solution for companies looking to achieve significant growth and operational improvements. By leveraging the financial sponsor’s expertise and the asset-based finance company’s ability to provide secure loans, businesses can access the capital needed to fuel their expansion and strategic initiatives. This partnership not only enhances the company’s financial stability but also maximizes returns for investors, making it a highly effective strategy in today’s competitive market. Through careful planning, active involvement, and strategic execution, sponsor-backed financing with an asset-based finance company can transform potential into tangible success.


ABOUT eCapital

Since 2006, eCapital has been on a mission to change the way small to medium sized businesses access the funding they need to reach their goals. We know that to survive and thrive, businesses need financial flexibility to quickly respond to challenges and take advantage of opportunities, all in real time. Companies today need innovation guided by experience to unlock the potential of their assets to give better, faster access to the capital they require.

We’ve answered the call and have built a team of over 600 experts in asset evaluation, batch processing, customer support and fintech solutions. Together, we have created a funding model that features rapid approvals and processing, 24/7 access to funds and the freedom to use the money wherever and whenever it’s needed. This is the future of business funding, and it’s available today, at eCapital.

Cal Navatto Headshot

As a trusted financial advisor to private equity groups, middle-market executive teams and corporate restructuring professionals for more than 30 years, Cal is adept at originating, structuring and negotiating asset-based lending and invoice factoring credit facilities for businesses across the US.

Prior to joining eCapital, Cal held the position of Vice President - CIT/Commercial Services Group, a subsidiary of First Citizen's Bank. He has also served as Senior Vice President, Finance at UMB Bank and NewStar Business Credit and Vice President, Business Development at First Capital.

Cal received his Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Montclair State University.

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