CIT to redeem its remaining $4 billion high-cost debt on 9 March

CIT Group Inc, a leading provider of financing to small businesses and middle market companies, plans to redeem all of its nearly $4 billion of remaining 7 per cent Series A second-priority secured notes, including approximately $1 billion principal amount of the notes maturing in 2016 and approximately $2.9 billion principal amount of the notes maturing in 2017.

''This is a significant milestone for CIT,'' said chairman and chief executive John A Thain. ''The elimination of our remaining Series A notes will result in a largely unencumbered balance sheet as our Series C notes and revolving credit facility will become unsecured. These efforts will improve our financial flexibility as we continue to provide much needed financing to the small business and middle market sectors,'' he added.

Including the Series A redemption, CIT will have eliminated or refinanced approximately $22 billion of first lien and second lien debt since the beginning of 2010, including $7.5 billion of first lien debt, its entire $12.3 billion of Series A second-priority secured notes and its entire $2.1 billion of Series B second-priority secured notes.

The company has provided a redemption notice for the Series A second-priority secured notes to the trustee and expects to complete the Series A redemption on 9 March 2012. CIT said t would redeem the remaining outstanding principal balance at par as provided under the terms of the Series A second-priority secured notes.

Founded in 1908, CIT is a bank holding company with more than $34 billion in finance and leasing assets. A member of the Fortune 500, it provides financing and leasing capital to over a million small business and middle market clients and their customers across more than 30 industries.

CIT also operates CIT Bank, its primary bank subsidiary and BankOnCIT.com, an FDIC-insured online bank.