Lenders Smile on Forest City with Closing of Half-Billion Credit Facility
- Feb 03, 2010
February 3, 2010
By Barbra Murray, Contributing Editor
The credit markets may be slowly loosening but hefty financing remains hard to come by–unless the company is Forest City Enterprises Inc. The Cleveland, Ohio-based national commercial real estate concern has just secured a $500 million revolving credit facility with a group of 15 banks. The facility is replacing a $750 million facility that was scheduled to expire in March. Apparently, confidence has a lot to do with lenders’ willingness to make the big bucks available; the 15-member bank group includes the 14 institutions that originated the first facility.
Key Bank is the administrative agent for the credit facility, while PNC Bank National Association is serving as the syndication agent. Bank of America N.A. is on board as documentation agent. “This is a big positive for Forest City,” Rich Moore, analyst with RBC Capital Markets, told CPE “Most of the company’s properties are secured by mortgage debt, so the banks obviously think a great deal about the management and the franchise. It’s a big vote of confidence, which is important in these times.”
Forest City will use the facility to continue to shore up its balance sheet and increase liquidity, which, as noted in a Forest City report filed with the SEC in December of 2009, has been the company’s highest priority for well over a year. Its public offering of over 52 million shares of Class A common stock in May also helped boost liquidity, netting the company nearly $330 million.
A developer, owner and manager of commercial and multifamily real estate, Forest City is an $11.9 billion company. Its stock has traded for as little as $3.37 and as much as $14.17 over the last 52 weeks.