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Strategic partnership to offer CMBS assistance

BY CSA STAFF

Los Angeles Commercial real estate investment banking firm George Smith Partners and law firm Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP announced Thursday that they have joined forces to offer an integrated legal and financial advisory platform to advise and assist borrowers with securitized commercial real estate loans in restructuring their debt.

For George Smith Partners, the new initiative will be led by Gary M. Tenzer, co-founding principal and senior director and David Rifkind, principal and managing director. 

“This new collaboration with Manatt is a proactive effort on behalf of both firms to meet a fundamental need in the commercial real estate industry,” said Tenzer. “In 2009 alone, the wall of maturity on more than $15 billion in securitized loans with major international investment banks is rapidly approaching with no apparent refinancing opportunities; in 2010 and 2011 the maturities grow to $45 billion and $65 billion, respectively.”

The partnership will combine real estate finance knowledge with securitization and workout expertise toward providing complete workout solutions for borrowers facing CMBS defaults, he added.

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Michaels gets in on Jackson craze

BY CSA STAFF

IRVING, Texas Michael Jackson’s death continues to dominate the news, and it seems everyone is getting in on the action. Even crafts retailer Michaels has found a way to tie itself with the King of Pop.

Michaels issued a press release offering tips on how customers could preserve their Michael Jackson memorabilia. The company advises consumers to mount photos and paper memorabilia on acid-free paper, use acid-free glue and tape to mount items and to use glare-free conservation glass to prevent fading caused by the sun’s UV rays.

“Unprotected memorabilia such as concert programs, album covers and especially autographed photos will deteriorate quickly without proper preservation,” said Michaels president and COO Shelley Broader. “Framing old souvenirs or new ones like magazine covers and newspapers will create personalized, treasured mementos for years to come.”

Other tips from Michaels include using album cover frames and shadow boxes that are available in various sizes to protect and display smaller items such as ticket stubs, backstage passes and concert pins.

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Walmart Foundation gives $500K grant to help emergency program for National Organization on Disability

BY CSA STAFF

WASHINGTON, D.C. Walmart’s philanthropic arm, the Walmart Foundation, has made a $500,000 grant to further the work of the National Organization on Disability’s (N.O.D.) Emergency Preparedness Initiative (EPI).

The grant from the Walmart Foundation will support EPI’s mission to ensure that the needs of the 54 million men, women, and children with disabilities are taken into account in emergency planning and response. EPI’s outreach, education and awareness efforts aim to position people with disabilities as a central component of emergency preparedness plans at all levels, while also ensuring that people with disabilities take steps to prepare themselves.

“At Walmart, helping communities is what we do every day, and when a crisis strikes, that charge becomes an even greater priority,” said Margaret McKenna, president of the Walmart Foundation. “Our recent grant to the National Organization on Disability is evidence of our commitment to supporting local disaster relief efforts. We are proud to support the expansion and growth of this program.”

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