Archive for December 2015
MCLEAN, Va., Nov. 23, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Gladstone Commercial Corporation (NASDAQ:GOOD) (Gladstone Commercial or the Company), a real estate investment trust focused on acquiring, owning and operating net leased office and industrial properties, announced today that it has completed the refinancing of $18.6 million of mortgage debt that was set to expire in 2015 and early 2016, with $3.6 million of new mortgage debt. The remainder was repaid using proceeds from the Companys line of credit.
This announcement brings year to date refinancing to $48.9 million at a new weighted average interest rate of 2.57%. Prior to the refinancing, the mortgages carried a weighted average interest rate of 5.45%. The combined refinancing will reduce the Companys annual debt service by $1.8 million.
The $3.6 million of new debt was issued by First Niagara Bank at an interest rate of 1-month LIBOR + 2.25%, a current rate of approximately 2.45%. The prior mortgage carried an interest rate of 5.81%. The refinancing will reduce annual debt service by approximately $0.12 million.
This years refinancings are the latest examples of our teams ability to take advantage of opportunities created by todays debt market, said Bob Cutlip, President of Gladstone Commercial. These transactions strengthen our financial position by significantly reducing our interest costs which will be a benefit to our shareholders. We will continue to explore refinancing transactions to further create short and long-term shareholder value.
About Gladstone Commercial Corporation (NASDAQ:GOOD)
Gladstone Commercial is a real estate investment trust focused on acquiring, owning and operating net leased industrial and office properties across the United States. Gladstone Commercials real estate portfolio consists of 101 properties located in 24 states, totaling approximately 11.1 million square feet. For additional information please visit www.gladstonecommercial.com.
Payday and car-title loans cost Ohioans more than $500 million a year — double the amount from
10 years ago — as short-term lenders continue charging triple-digit interest rates.
Those are the findings of a recent study of Ohio by the Center for Responsible Lending, a North
Carolina-based organization that has long opposed payday loans as a “debt trap” for low-income
borrowers. The group says the majority of the short-term interest and fees paid by Ohioans now come
from car-title loans.
Of the 836 storefronts in Ohio that make short-term loans, 59 percent offer both payday and
title loans — in which the lender holds the borrower’s car title as collateral for the loan, often
due within 30 days. If the borrower does not pay, the lender can repossess the vehicle, even if the
loan was for far less than the vehicle’s value.
State lawmakers passed and voters overwhelmingly upheld a law in 2008 that sought to put
significant limitations on payday loans, including a 28 percent interest-rate cap. Lenders got
around the new law by switching their state licenses to operate as either mortgage lenders or
“The flourishing payday-lending practices in Ohio are the ultimate case-in-point for why rules
governing predatory practices must be airtight,” said Diane Standaert, director of state policy for
the Center for Responsible Lending. “The (federal) Consumer Financial Protection Bureau should take
note — clearly, this is an industry that will find and exploit any possible angle to continue
making predatory loans designed to trap Ohioans in an endless cycle of debt.”
The bureau, headed by Richard Cordray, a former Ohio attorney general, is crafting new rules for
short-term lenders. The rules look to limit payday interest rates, require lenders to determine a
borrower’s ability to pay, and limit the number of loans a person can obtain at one time.
The center recommends that the rules limit the time lenders can keep borrowers in debt to no
more than 90 days over 12 months, address reborrowing for longer-term loans “that become debt
traps,” and not allow safe harbor for poorly underwritten loans.
The Ohio Consumer Lenders Association argues that it provides a safe, regulated source of credit
for people who often have no better options.
“We help families get through the tough times that so many people encounter,” said spokesman Pat
Crowley. “If our members didn’t exist, the need for credit would not go away. Instead, borrowers
would have to turn to more-expensive and less-regulated loans, such as those offered by offshore
Crowley points to a 2014 study by a Kent State University professor extolling the economic
benefits of payday lending.
The Center for Responsible Lending also wants state lawmakers to enforce the 2008 law by closing
alternative avenues for payday lenders.
A Financial Protection Bureau study in the spring found that, nationally, more than
60 percent of loans go to borrowers who have taken out at least seven loans in a row, each time
incurring new interest rates and fees, and about half of the loans go to those taking out at least
10 consecutive loans.
In recent years, there has been little talk among state lawmakers looking to address payday
lending — an issue that creates divides in both parties.
Over the last two-year election cycle, Rod Aycox, founder of LoanMax Title Loans, which operates
75 stores in Ohio, was among the top individual givers to legislative Republicans, donating nearly
$115,000. Overall, the short-term lending industry gave about $320,000 to majority legislative
This year, the Ohio Consumer Lenders Association, which represents a number of payday and title
lenders, gave $100,000 to the campaign promoting Issue 1, a bipartisan plan to reform Ohio’s
legislative redistricting process. The association was the biggest donor to the effort.
Short-term finance company Money3 willleave the pay-day lending business by the end of the financial year amid increasing consumer pressure and government scrutiny ofthe sector, following a lengthy battle with the lenders former boss.
Money3, whichprovides small secured and unsecured loans,today said it had resolved to exit the unsecured small amount credit contract lending despite the business profitability.
“While the unsecured business, consisting of the branch network, online business and a gross loan book circa $50 million, continues to be profitable, the board has determined that the future focus of Money3 should be on the secured segment of the business and related growth opportunities,Money3 chairman Vaughan Webber said.
The decision followed a dramatic spat between the Money3 board and the companys former managing directorRobert Bryant, whowas forced out of the firm in late July amid a disagreement with the board about the future direction of the company.
His retirement was made with immediate effect and without explanation at thetime, but a series of regulatory filings have since shownthat Mr Bryant profoundly disagreed with the boards plan to exit the payday lending industry, which has been hit by regulatory heat and class action suits.
Mr Bryant attempted to derail the boards plan to exit the business with a requisitioned shareholder meeting, buthisresolutions failed to gain shareholder support.
An unsecured loanis not backed by collateral, and is only supported by a borrowers creditworthiness. Due to theirrisky nature, the loanusually draws a high interest rate. The short-term loan industry has also come under increasing scrutiny for lending practices.
The Abbott government had appointed a three-member panel to investigate small-amount lenders who have been accused of charging interest of almost 300 per cent on loans.
Meanwhile in August,Westpac said it haddecided to stop serving customers who provide payday loans,bringing the lenderinto line with National Australia Bank, which also declines to fund the payday loan industry, followingstrong criticism from the corporate watchdog over the behaviour of short-term lenders.
Payday lenderCash Converters recently settled a class action suit in New South Wales over allegedexcessive interestloans and is facing another suit in Queensland.
Money3 had said the returns from the unsecured loan business did not justify the regulatory risk, the compliance risk, the funding risk or the negative perception.
But the company is confident in its future as a secured lender, with that side of thebusinesscurrently the largest contributor to Money3s overall profit. The board said secured lending hadsignificant prospects for future growth and expansion.
At its Nov. 17 meeting, the Campbell City Council voted 3-2 to add new restrictions to payday lending businesses operating in the city.
The city amended its current ordinance to address what the city says are social and safety concerns associated with businesses that give people payday advances. Earlier in the year the city council made payday lending issues a priority in an effort to prevent Campbells financially vulnerable residents from possibly entering into an endless cycle of loans.
Changes to the ordinance make it so that existing payday lenders can operate in only five parts of the city identified as general commercial away from low-income neighborhoods. Those areas are West Hamilton Avenue west of the San Tomas Expressway; East Hamilton Avenue east of South Winchester Boulevard; South Bascom Avenue north of Dry Creek Road; Camden and South Bascom avenues south of Camden Avenue; and South Winchester Boulevard south of Sunnyoaks Avenue.
There are currently four payday lending businesses in the city, each of which already operate in those five areas. According to the city staff report from the planning commissions Oct. 27 meeting, the citys most recent payday lending business was established in 2004. Another such business was incorporated into Campbell in a 2013 annexation.
The Norwin School Board on Monday approved the second phase of a bond refinancing plan that will generate another $670,000 in revenue to help pay for building improvements.
In October, the board picked up about $1.2 million in revenue by refinancing $9.95 million in bonds that were issued in 2008.
The $1.87 million in total savings from the two-pronged refinancing package was realized by reissuing bonds at a 3.2 percent interest rate instead of the 4.5 percent rate the district was paying, according to Wes Hall, a senior analyst for Harrisburg-based Public Financial Management Inc.
The second bond refinancing covered nearly $6.7 million in outstanding debt, Hall said.
Because interest rates are low — and expected to increase in the coming months — the board decided to tack on another $2 million to the bond issue to help pay for the millions of dollars in work needed to repair and upgrade district buildings.
The board had three financing options from which to choose, with each one affecting the total interest paid during the life of the loan and the size of the yearly loan payments.
In one scenario, the district would pay a little less than $505,000 in total interest, but it would have to make yearly payments that range between $171,000 and $175,000 during most of the loans 16-year life.
A second option would cost the district nearly $750,000 in total interest, but cut the annual payments to between $137,000 and $143,000 by adding another five years of loan payments.
The third option, which was recommended by business manager John Wilson and adopted by the board, boosts the total interest paid to nearly $1.55 million, but lowers annual payments to between $69,000 and $95,000 by spreading payments out over a 23-year period.
However, that option will require the district to make a final payment of nearly $1.88 million in 2038.
Wilson said the lower annual payments would help the district better manage its finances during years when there was uncertainty about how much funding the state will provide to local schools.
Board member Donald Rhodes Jr. suggested that the district consider creating a reserve fund to save money to cover the final loan payment.
District officials have identified several million dollars worth of projects on which the money might be spent, including repairs to the high school roof, new gym lighting in four of its buildings, repairing and sealing parking lots at various district buildings, and installing a new track and artificial turf at the stadium.
Tony LaRussa is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach him at email@example.com.
ROAD TOWN, BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS–(Marketwired – Nov. 26, 2015) – Talon Metals Corp. (Talon or the Company) (TSX:TLO) is pleased to announce that it has entered into definitive agreements with Resource Capital Fund VI LP (RCF) and an amending agreement and debt settlement agreement with Kennecott Exploration Company (Kennecott), a subsidiary of the Rio Tinto Group, whereby Talon will receive US$15 million from RCF to be used by Talon to earn an 18.45% interest in the Tamarack Nickel-Copper-PGE Project (the Tamarack Project), located in Minnesota, USA. All of the funds to be received by Talon from RCF will be used to conduct further exploration at the Tamarack Project (including making certain land option payments).
HIGHLIGHTS OF RCF FINANCING
- RCF has agreed to provide Talon with US$15 million, as follows: (a) US$1 million via a private placement subscription (the RCF Subscription) for common shares in the capital of Talon (each, a Common Share) at a subscription price of C$0.12 per common share (the RCF Subscription Price); and (b) US$14 million via an unsecured convertible loan (the RCF Unsecured Loan, and together with the RCF Subscription, the RCF Financing). The RCF Unsecured Loan will mature on the maturity date (the Maturity Date) being the earlier of: (i) the date that is three years from the Closing Date (as defined below); and (ii) the date upon which RCF elects to accelerate the due date upon the occurrence of certain events, including an event of default.
- The RCF Unsecured Loan will bear interest at the rate of 12% per annum. All interest will accrue and become payable on the Maturity Date. Talon may only prepay the RCF Unsecured Loan (including accrued interest), in full or in part, with the prior approval of RCF.
- Under the terms of the RCF Unsecured Loan, RCF may elect to convert all or part of the principal amount of the RCF Unsecured Loan (including all capitalized interest) into Common Shares at any time at a conversion price of C$0.156 per Common Share (the Conversion Price), representing a 30% premium to the RCF Subscription Price. Interest that has not been capitalized is to be converted at a price equal to the volume weighted average trading price for the 20 trading days prior to the conversion. Any amount being converted pursuant to RCFs conversion right shall be converted from United States dollars into Canadian dollars based on the currency exchange rate as reported by Bloomberg as of 5:00 pm (EST) on the first business day preceding the conversion date.
- For as long as the RCF Unsecured Loan agreement is in effect or while RCF and its affiliates, on a partially diluted basis, hold Common Shares equal to or exceeding 10% of all Common Shares issued and outstanding, RCF has the right to participate in any equity or debt financings of the Company (other than certain exempt issuances) at the same price and on the same terms, on a pro rata basis, such that RCF may maintain its percentage interest in Common Shares on a partially diluted basis, assuming the full exercise of all rights under the RCF Unsecured Loan to receive Common Shares, including all rights of conversion.
- At all times, (a) while any obligation remains outstanding under the RCF Unsecured Loan agreement, or (b) RCF and its affiliates, on a partially diluted basis, hold Common Shares equal to or exceeding 10% of all Common Shares issued and outstanding, RCF will have the right to nominate one individual to serve on the Companys board of directors.
- A number of events constitute an event of default under the RCF Unsecured Loan agreement, including certain material adverse changes, the delisting of the Common Shares from the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX), the abandonment or termination of a material portion of the Tamarack Project or a change of control of the Company. Upon an event of default, interest will accrue at the default interest rate of 17% per annum.
HIGHLIGHTS OF KENNECOTT AMENDMENTS
- Kennecott has agreed to: (a) forgive the principal amount of the unsecured loan previously granted by Kennecott to Talon (ie, US$4.5 million), and (b) defer the US$2.5 million and US$4 million option payments originally due by Talon on June 26, 2015 (previously deferred to December 21, 2015) and June 26, 2016, respectively, until after the earn-in period, and convert the interest payable thereunder (ie, US$349,114) into Common Shares at a conversion price of C$0.09 per Common Share (the Kennecott Share Issuance) which represents a 25% discount to the RCF Subscription Price. Consequently, Talon will no longer have any debts payable to Kennecott.
- Kennecott and Talon have also agreed to amend the Exploration and Option Agreement dated June 25, 2014 between Talon Nickel (USA) LLC (as subsidiary of Talon) and Kennecott (the Earn-in Agreement) to provide, among other things, that upon receipt by Kennecott from Talon of the sum of US$15 million, Talon will earn an 18.45% interest in the Tamarack Project. Notably, Talon will have no further funding requirements to earn its interest in the Tamarack Project, including no longer being required to make payments of US$6.5 million to Kennecott to earn its interest in the Tamarack Project.
- Once Kennecott has spent the funds advanced by Talon on exploration activities in respect of the Tamarack Project, subject to certain self-funding rights by Kennecott during the earn-in period, Kennecott will have 180 days to elect whether to: (a) proceed with a 81.55/18.45 joint venture on the Tamarack Project, with Kennecott owning an 81.55% participating interest, and Talon owning an 18.45% participating interest; or (b) grant Talon the right to purchase Kennecotts interest in the Tamarack Project for a total purchase price of US$114 million (previously US$107.5 million). In the event Kennecott grants Talon the right to purchase its interest in the Tamarack Project, and Talon elects to proceed with the purchase option, Talon will have up to 18 months to close the transaction, provided it makes an upfront non-refundable payment of US$14 million (previously US$6.5 million), thereby reducing the purchase price to US$100-million (same purchase price as before).
Kennecotts forgiveness of the unsecured loan in the amount of US$4.5 million and deferral of the cash payments in the amount of US$6.5 million until after the earn-in period, combined with RCFs new US$15 million investment (approximately C$20 million), allows Talon to earn its proportionate interest in the approximate 18 km Tamarack Intrusive Complex. Notably, the entire US$15 million to be received from RCF will be used by Kennecott to advance the Tamarack Project, with not a penny being spent on Talon salaries or overhead, said Henri van Rooyen, CEO of the Company. This transaction constitutes one of the largest capital raisings in 2015 (on the TSX and TSX Venture Exchange) amongst exploration companies, and is a testament to the quality and potential of the Tamarack Project.
The Company has also agreed to pay Haywood Securities Inc. (Haywood) a finders fee for its efforts in facilitating the RCF Financing. Such fee is comprised of, (a) US$300,000 (converted into Canadian dollars based on the Bank of Canada noon rate on November 25, 2015) payable in Common Shares at the RCF Subscription Price, and (b) 1,000,000 non-transferable compensation warrants (each, a Compensation Warrant). Each Compensation Warrant shall be exercisable for one Common Share at the Conversion Price at any time before the Maturity Date.
SPECIAL MEETING OF SHAREHOLDERS
The transactions disclosed in this news release are cross-conditional and subject to certain closing conditions, including, the receipt of shareholder approval and the approval of the TSX. Assuming such conditions are met, the transactions are expected to close (the Closing Date) prior to the end of the year.
Talon intends to hold a special meeting of its shareholders on December 29, 2015. At the special meeting, Talon will seek shareholder approval for the issuance (including, potential issuances) of all Common Shares issuable under the RCF Financing, Kennecott Share Issuance and to Haywood. Shareholders of record as of November 25, 2015 will be entitled to vote their Common Shares at the meeting. Talon intends to finalize and distribute proxy materials, which will include voting instructions. Such materials will be mailed to shareholders of record, and copies will be posted under Talons profile on SEDAR (www.sedar.com).
Talon is a TSX-listed company focused on the exploration and development of the Tamarack Nickel-Copper-PGE Project in Minnesota, USA (which comprises the Tamarack North Project and the Tamarack South Project). The Company has a well-qualified exploration and mine management team with extensive experience in project management.
For additional information on Talon, please visit the Companys website at www.talonmetals.com.
This press release contains forward-looking information which is not comprised of historical facts. Forward-looking information involves risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events, results, performance and opportunities to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking information. Forward-looking information contained or referred to in this press release includes, but may not be limited to, the receipt of funds from RCF pursuant to the RCF Convertible Loan and the RCF Subscription, the Kennecott Share Issuance and the amendment to the Earn-in Agreement becoming effective, the acquisition by the Company of a 18.45% interest in the Tamarack Project and the timing of the completion of such transactions and the meeting of the Companys shareholders.
Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in such forward-looking information include, but are not limited to, risks related to Talons, RCFs or Kennecotts inability to satisfy a condition precedent to the completion of their respective transactions (including obtaining the requisite shareholder approval at the shareholders meeting and the necessary regulatory approvals), the occurrence of an event of default and risks related to the inability of each of the Company, RCF and Kennecott to perform their respective obligations under their respective agreements as well as certain other risks set out in the Companys public documents, including its annual information form dated March 31, 2015, filed under the Companys profile on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.
The forward-looking information in this press release reflects the current expectations, assumptions and/or beliefs of the Company based on information currently available to the Company. In connection with the forward-looking information contained in this press release, the Company has made assumptions about: the Companys business, the economy and the Companys industry in general as well as the Companys, RCFs and Kennecotts ability to complete the transactions and to perform its obligations thereunder. The Company has also assumed that no significant events occur outside of the Companys normal course of business. Although the Company believes that the assumptions inherent in the forward-looking information are reasonable, forward-looking information is not a guarantee of future performance and accordingly undue reliance should not be put on such information due to the inherent uncertainty therein.
Any forward-looking information speaks only as of the date on which it is made and, except as may be required by applicable securities laws, the Company disclaims any intent or obligation to update any forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or results or otherwise.
Reference is made to the Q3 2015 report of American Shipping Company ASA (AMSC or the Company), regarding the signing of loan agreements for a total of MUSD 450 to refinance its secured vessel debt. Yesterday the refinancing was successfully closed and funded on terms as previously described in the Company’s Q3 2015 report.
The refinancing is structured in two separate facilities; one being a MUSD 300 facility secured by eight vessels with a syndicate of three banks consisting of BNP Paribas, SEB and Credit Agricole and the other a MUSD 150 facility secured by two vessels with CIT Maritime Finance as Sole Arranger and CIT Bank, NA, Prudential Capital Group and AloStar Bank of Commerce as lenders.
The refinancing was completed at attractive terms and provides further support for AMSC’s strong dividend capacity. As communicated in the Q3 2015 report, AMSC expects dividends to increase approximately 15% year on year from 2015 to 2016.
Source: American Shipping Company ASA
Can you imagine taking out a $500 loan and it costing more than $1,100 to pay it back?
Every day in the Fort Worth-Arlington metro area, many of our neighbors are doing just that and paying up to 484 percent in interest and fees on small, short-term “payday” and auto-title loans.
These absurd interest rates are completely legal in Texas, due to the inaction of the Legislature, which refuses to pass meaningful reforms to rein in what is largely an unregulated industry.
As a result, payday and auto-title lenders are allowed to charge unlimited interest and fees, effectively trapping low-income families in a cycle of debt.
Many think that because they have not taken out a loan, they are not affected. That’s not the case.
Because payments to predatory lenders are automatically deducted from the borrower’s checking account, other bills are often neglected, leading to loss of utility services, no money to put gas in the car and no way to pay the rent.
Often, the only available solution is to take out another loan or to seek help from local nonprofits and churches.
Research by the Texas Catholic Conference, Texas Appleseed and others shows that in Texas an estimated 32 percent of clients in need of charitable assistance are in trouble with payday or auto-title loans.
If you make a charitable contribution, do you really want a portion of it going to subsidize a payday lending corporation? I certainly don’t.
Statewide, about 850 vehicles per week are repossessed by auto-title lenders. That’s at least 850 people a week who suddenly can’t get to a job or school — how does that help grow our economy?
Texas Appleseed, using data from the Insight Center for Economic Development, found that predatory lending had a negative economic impact of $87,578,235 for the Fort Worth-Arlington metro area in 2012-2014.
Because the Legislature has not had the political will to address this issue, 28 Texas cities have taken action themselves.
In North Texas, Dallas, Flower Mound and Denton have all passed ordinances limiting loan amounts and the number of times a loan may be rolled over.
This week, in a unanimous vote, the Arlington City Council approved a similar ordinance. I commend the mayor and council for taking action, because this ordinance will have a positive impact for my constituents.
There are more than 55 payday and auto-title lenders in the 11 ZIP codes I represent in Arlington and Grand Prairie. That’s a lot, but not atypical of the state as a whole; there are twice as many payday lending stores in Texas as there are McDonald’s restaurants.
Common-sense municipal ordinances have made a positive difference in the cities that have enacted them, providing needed consumer protections to their residents. This is definitely a step in the right direction, but more needs to be done.
First, the Legislature can no longer kowtow to the payday lending industry.
During the past few sessions, several pro-consumer bills have been proposed by members of both parties, only to be killed by the payday industry and their allies in the Legislature.
Voters need to demand that their legislators take action to rein in this usurious industry.
Second, people take out these loans because they have a financial need. There should be more support for lending alternatives with lower interest rates, which give borrowers the ability to pay down loan principle, help people build and improve their credit, and help families avoid an unending cycle of debt.
Several cities (including Dallas), nonprofits, churches, banks and credit unions are doing just that, but more is needed.
As Texans, we pride ourselves on a strong economy and the promise of opportunity to residents of the state.
But we undermine our economy and place limits on opportunity when we allow Texans to be entrapped by a predatory industry that is subject to no rules and has no accountability.
It’s time to change that.
On November 16, the FDIC issued FIL-52-2015 to advise financial institutions that it revised its 2005 guidance on payday lending, which established the FDICs expectations for prudent risk-management practices in the payday loan industry. The letter emphasizes that the 2005 payday lending guidance, as issued in FIL-14-2005, does not apply to depository institutions offering certain products and services, such as deposit accounts and extensions of credit, to non-bank payday lenders. Specifically, the letter states, [f]inancial institutions that can properly manage customer relationships and effectively mitigate risks are neither prohibited nor discouraged from providing services to any category of business customers or individual customers operating in compliance with applicable state and federal laws.
San Juan Villa, a 32-bed memory care community in Port Townsend, was one of two seniors facilities to receive financing.
PORT TOWNSEND and BUCKLEY, WASH. — Lancaster Pollard has secured two HUD loans totaling $10.4 million to refinance San Juan Villa, a 32-bed memory care community in Port Townsend, and Heritage House, a 76-unit assisted living and memory care community in Buckley.
Both towns are suburbs of Seattle. Oregon-based operator Caring Places Management manages both communities.
Each loan is nonrecourse and features a 35-year term. The loans will provide annual debt service savings and fund replacement reserves for ongoing repairs at each property.
Matt Lindsay led the transactions for Lancaster Pollard.