Jamba Closes $25M Finance Deal

Jamba Inc. has raised $25 million through a financing deal with Victory Park Capital Advisors LLC, an Illinois investment manager.

The financing agreement is for $25 million in two-year senior secured notes.

Jamba (NASDAQ: JMBA), which is based in Emeryville and operates the struggling Jamba Juice Co. smoothie chain, is borrowing the funds at a steep cost: LIBOR (or the London Interbank Offered Rate), a widely used interest reference rate by banks lending to each other, plus 8 percent and 12.5 percent, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Steven Berrard, president and CEO of Jamba, said in a statement the previously announced financing will give the company greater flexibility to execute its business plan. Berrard was named president and CEO in early August, replacing Paul Clayton.

In an effort to cut costs, Jamba said in August it would eliminate more than a dozen positions, close about 20 stores and shift its focus to franchising from growing corporate-owned outlets.

It is also hoping to boost sales of Jamba smoothies in grocery stores through its licensing deal with Nestle USA.

Jamba reported a second-quarter loss of $89.2 million on revenue of $98.6 million.

Entities managed by Victory Park Capital Advisors were the sole investors in the transaction with Jamba. Brendan Carroll, president, principal and the sole director of Victory Park Capital Advisors, would not comment on the transaction with Jamba. “I just can’t give you any information,” he said, citing company policy.

Victory Park Capital Advisors LLC was incorporated in June 2007 in Illinois. It owns and manages the Victory Park Master Fund Ltd., a Cayman Islands company. Both Victory Park Capital and Victory Park Master Fund are shareholders of Victory Park Acquisition Corp. I, which was formed last fall to target potential acquisitions.

Separately, on Sept. 3 Jamba entered a severance agreement with Clayton that calls for the company to pay Clayton $525,000, the equivalent of one year’s salary. The agreement also provides that Clayton is fully vested in an option to purchase 510,000 shares of the company’s common stock and in a grant of 70,000 shares of restricted stock granted to him in connection with the severance agreement.