FINANCE

FM completes $20 million credit facility

BY CSA STAFF

Hartford, Conn. — RBS recently completed a $20 million senior credit facility for FM Global Holdings (FM Facility Maintenance). The proceeds will be used to provide working capital for growth and acquisition financing.

FM chairman, Jim Barnes said, “This $20 million facility completes the third step of our acquisition capital plan which began with at $12.5 million equity raise last August followed by a $6.5 million mezzanine debt facility closed at year end. Combined with this $20 million facility, FM has sufficient capital to execute on its 2011 acquisition strategy.”

The facility has accordion features to expand to $40 million.

Jim Reavey, president and CEO added, “Continuing strength in our core business coupled with 25 percent year over year growth has allowed FM to tap into substantial capital for acquisitions. FM will focus on purchasing companies that provide single trade services that are presently offered within our current 45 trades.”

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REAL ESTATE

U.S. shopping center industry tallies to nearly 108,000 centers

BY CSA STAFF

New York City — The U.S. shopping-center industry grew to approximately 108,000 centers in 2010, according to the latest statistics from CoStar Group. The data, compiled on behalf of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), marked the slowest U.S. industry growth (+0.2% or 259 centers) on record since at least 1971 for which consistent data exist.

Over the first four months of 2011, 50 new centers were tallied by the CoStar Group, which continues to suggest a sluggish annualized rate of growth. Total shopping-center space trends echo a similar pattern with a 0.2% point gain in 2010 to 7.33 billion sq. ft. of gross leasable area.

“This slow industry expansion in the United States is still part of an adjustment process from the aftermath of the 2007-2009 recession,” observed Michael P. Niemira, VP director of research and chief economist for ICSC. “As the economy continues to grow, however, this more constrained expansion will improve the occupancy rates and make for a more profitable industry.

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FINANCE

GE Capital: Retail CFOs more optimistic, look to invest

BY Marianne Wilson

Norwalk, Conn. — Retail CFOs of U.S. middle-market companies are becoming more optimistic concerning the state of the industry, according to the latest GE Capital survey of retail CFOs of companies with revenues ranging from $50 million to $1 billion.

Half (50%) of the surveyed CFOs plan to replace old equipment with newer, more efficient equipment as a way of improving operational efficiencies. The second most anticipated initiative to improve operational efficiency among the CFOs was a reduction in the number of suppliers (24%).

“Demand for financing from retailers has also increased substantially over the past 12 months as retailers move from cost containment to once again investing for the future,” said Jim Hogan, senior managing director, GE Capital, Corporate Retail Finance. “

Overall, retail CFOs are optimistic about the outlook for their industry, the U.S. economy and the world economy. Key findings include:

  • A majority (80%) of retail CFOs surveyed believe their company’s revenue will increase in 2011, a 26% point rise since first quarter 2010.
  • Thirty-eight percent expect to increase their capital expenditures this year.
  • Sixty percent expect the discount category to see the greatest increase in consumer spending in 2011. Twenty-two percent expect the luxury category to see an increase in consumer spending, up 14 percentage points from first quarter 2010.
  • Forty-three percent see increased new order pipelines this year, up 18% since third quarter 2010
  • Nearly one-third of retail CFOs expect an increase in their financing needs over the next 12 months

For more information on the GE Capital Middle-Market CFO Survey, visit gecapital.com/cfosurvey.

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