Heavy Equipment Distribution

Fleet Refinancing Funds Expansion

Since 1939, Mears Transportation has been growing its fleet in Orlando to include buses, trolleys, shuttles and luxury vehicle services. Learn how they quickly established a refinance in 2018 to fund an even wider expansion.


Mears Transportation operates a fleet of buses, trolleys and shuttle vans in Orlando, Florida. The company is active in the tourism and theme park business, running the Disney Magical Express and Universal Studios routes.


What Was the Challenge?

Founded in 1939 by Paul Mears Sr. with three taxicabs, Mears Transportation had grown its fleet to provide Orlando with taxi, shuttle, motorcoach and luxury vehicle service. Mears wanted to continue its expansion and sought:

  • A new private equity partner
  • Term debt
  • A working capital line
  • Flexibility to finance future capital expenditure

The company engaged Commercial Banking in early 2018 with the ambitious goal of achieving its equipment financing solution within the first quarter of the year.


What Was Our Solution?

Deal Size: $63 million equipment term loan, of which 50 percent was participated to another bank

Tenor: 5 years

Amortization: 6.5 years 

The client specified that pricing and structure were secondary considerations; the ability to work within a tight timeframe was the deciding factor. The Mears private equity partner was introduced to the firm’s Equipment Finance and banking teams, who stepped up and delivered a streamlined solution. We provided:

  • A five-year, $63 million equipment term loan to refinance the existing fleet
  • A new $28.8 million revolving credit facility
  • A $21 million draw line to finance new buses that were added to the fleet to satisfy contracts with Disney and Universal


Key Takeaways

Our banking and Equipment Finance teams partnered to provide a complete solution for Mears and a solid win for the firm. Due to total credit exposure, the banking team requested that Equipment Finance source a 50 percent silent participant.

  • Equipment Finance’s core term loan products were used to create the solution
  • J.P. Morgan brought in an out-of-market syndication partner to manage the overall credit exposure


By the Numbers



Year founded


Taxis, buses, trolleys and shuttles used as collateral in the refinance

$63 million

Deal size

Equipment Financing Client Stories

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