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Colt Defense LLC Enters into a New $33 Million Senior Secured Term Loan Facility.

WEST HARTFORD, Conn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–

Colt Defense LLC (“Colt”) announced today that it has entered into a new senior secured term loan facility with Cortland Capital Market Services LLC, as agent, and certain lender parties thereto (the “Cortland Facility”). The Cortland Facility provides for a term loan of $33 million, which includes the arrangement of certain cash collateralized letters of credit in an aggregate face amount of up to $7 million, of which approximately $5 million will be used in connection with the termination of Colt’s existing revolving credit agreement. Proceeds from the Cortland Facility will be used to repay all amounts outstanding under Colt’s existing revolving credit agreement and terminate such revolving credit agreement, for cash collateral for certain letters of credit, to pay fees incurred in connection with the consummation of the Cortland Facility and the termination of the existing revolving credit agreement, for additional liquidity and for general working capital purposes. The Cortland Facility provides for the accrual of interest at a fixed rate of 10% per annum and matures August 15, 2018. The lenders under Colt’s existing term loan agreement dated as of November 17, 2014 (the “Term Loan Agreement”) have also agreed to amendments to the Term Loan Agreement necessary for Colt to enter into the Cortland Facility.

About Colt Defense LLC

Colt is one of the world’s oldest and most renowned designers, developers and manufacturers of firearms for military, personal defense and recreational purposes. Our founder, Samuel Colt, patented the first commercially successful revolving cylinder firearm in 1836 and, in 1847, began supplying U.S. and international military customers with firearms that have set the standards of their era. The “Colt” name and trademarks stand for quality, reliability, accuracy and the assurance of customer satisfaction. Our brand and global footprint position us for long-term growth in a world market that offers continued opportunities in all of our sales channels: military, law enforcement and commercial. We operate from facilities located in West Hartford, Connecticut and Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. More information on Colt Defense LLC is available at www.colt.com and www.coltcanada.com.

Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, that are subject to the “safe harbor” created by those sections. Any statements about the Company’s expectations, beliefs, plans, objectives, assumptions or future events or Company’s future financial performance and/or operating performance are not statements of historical fact and reflect only the Company’s current expectations regarding these matters. These statements are often, but not always, made through the use of words such as “may,” “will,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “intend,” “predict,” “potential,” “estimate,” “plan” or variations of these words or similar expressions. These statements inherently involve a wide range of known and unknown uncertainties. The Company’s actual actions and results may differ materially from what is expressed or implied by these statements. Factors that could cause such a difference include, but are not limited to, those set forth as “Risk Factors” in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K/A for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2013, which was filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on September 15, 2014, as updated by the Company’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q/A for the quarter ended September 28, 2014, which was filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on December 2, 2014. Given these factors, you should not rely on forward-looking statements, assume that past financial performance will be a reliable indicator of future performance nor use historical trends to anticipate results or trends in future periods. The Company expressly disclaims any obligation or intention to provide updates to the forward-looking statements and estimates and assumptions associated with them.

FinanceInvestment & Company InformationSamuel Colt Contact:

Colt Defense LLC
Sheri Miller, 1-860-236-6311 x1505

[…]

Fitch Affirms Halycon Loan Advisors Funding 2014-1 Ltd./LLC

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–

Fitch Ratings has affirmed the class X, A-1, A-2 notes and the class A loans issued by Halycon Loan Advisors Funding 2014-1 Ltd./LLC (Halcyon 2014-1) at ‘AAAsf’. The Rating Outlook remains Stable.

KEY RATING DRIVERS

The affirmation is based on the stable performance of the underlying portfolio since the transaction’s inception in March 2014 and the credit enhancement available to the notes. As of the Jan. 5, 2015 trustee report, the transaction continues to pass all of its coverage tests and collateral quality tests, and there have been no defaults in the underlying portfolio to date.

The loan portfolio par amount plus principal cash is approximately $402.4 million, compared to the effective date target par balance of $400 million, resulting in an increase in credit enhancement levels for the notes and the class A loans. The weighted average rating has remained in the ‘B/B-‘ range, and Fitch currently considers 3.1% of the portfolio (including unsettled trades) to be rated in the ‘CCC’ category versus 7.5% in the indicative portfolio at closing, based upon Fitch’s Issuer Default Rating (IDR) Equivalency Map. The weighted average spread (WAS) has increased to 5.7% from 5.1% at closing, relative to the trigger level of 4.4%. The weighted average life (WAL) is 5.0 years, which is below the trigger level of 7.2 years. The portfolio (including unsettled trades) is invested in approximately 96.1% senior secured loans and 3.9% second lien loans. In addition, approximately 91.9% of the portfolio has strong recovery prospects or a Fitch-assigned Recovery Rating of ‘RR2’ or higher.

The Stable Outlooks reflect the expectation that the class X, A-1, and A-2 notes and class A loans have a sufficient level of credit protection to withstand potential deterioration in the credit quality of the portfolio, based on the results of the Fitch sensitivity analysis described below.

RATING SENSITIVITIES

The ratings of the notes may be sensitive to the following: asset defaults, portfolio migration, including assets being downgraded to ‘CCC’, portions of the portfolio being placed on Rating Watch Negative, overcollateralization (OC) or interest coverage (IC) test breaches, or breach of concentration limitations or portfolio quality covenants. Fitch conducted rating sensitivity analysis on the closing date of Halcyon 2014-1, incorporating increased levels of defaults and reduced levels of recovery rates, among other sensitivities.

Halcyon 2014-1 is an arbitrage, cash flow collateralized loan obligation (CLO) managed by Halcyon Loan Advisors 2014-1 LLC (a wholly owned subsidiary of Halcyon Loan Management, LLC). The transaction remains in its reinvestment period, which is scheduled to end in April 2018. During the reinvestment period discretionary sales within a 12-month period are limited to 25% of the portfolio balance, as measured by the balance at the beginning of the preceding 12-month period. Sales of defaulted, credit-risk and credit-improved securities are permitted at any time, including after the reinvestment period, with the sale of credit-improved assets subject to certain restrictions. The manager also has the ability to reinvest unscheduled principal proceeds and sales proceeds from the disposal of credit risk assets after the reinvestment period, subject to certain conditions.

The class A loans were issued at close and include a conversion option to be converted into class A-2 notes. Once the option is exercised, the aggregate outstanding amount of the class A-2 notes will be increased by the outstanding principal amount of the class A loans and the class A loans shall cease to be outstanding. The conversion option may be exercised only once and no class A-2 notes may be converted into class A loans. The class A-2 notes continue to have a zero balance.

This review was conducted under the framework described in the report ‘Global Rating Criteria for Corporate CDOs’ using the Portfolio Credit Model (PCM) for projecting future default and recovery levels for the underlying portfolio. Given the stable performance of the deal since closing, no updated cash flow modeling was completed. The current portfolio’s ‘AAAsf’ Rating Default Rate (RDR) and Rating Recovery Rate (RRR) outputs from PCM are 53.1% and 38.8%, respectively, versus an RDR of 53.6% and RRR of 38.6% for the indicative portfolio at closing.

Initial Key Rating Drivers and Rating Sensitivity are further described in the New Issue Report published on Aug. 6, 2014. A comparison of the transaction’s Representations, Warranties, and Enforcement Mechanisms (RW&Es) to those of typical RW&Es for that asset class is also available by accessing the reports and links indicated below.

Fitch has affirmed the following ratings:

–$1,575,000 class X notes ‘AAAsf’; Outlook Stable;

–$199,000,000 class A-1 notes ‘AAAsf’; Outlook Stable,

–$0 class A-2 notes ‘AAAsf’; Outlook Stable;

–$50,000,000 class A loans ‘AAAsf’; Outlook Stable.

Fitch does not rate the class B-1, B-2, C, D, E, F or subordinated notes.

Additional information is available at ‘www.fitchratings.com‘.

The information used to assess these ratings was sourced from periodic servicer reports, note valuation reports, and the public domain.

Applicable Criteria & Related Research:

–‘Global Structured Finance Rating Criteria’ (Aug. 4, 2014);

–‘Global Rating Criteria for Corporate CDOs’ (July 25, 2014);

–‘Counterparty Criteria for Structured Finance and Covered Bonds’ (May 14, 2014);

–‘Halcyon Loan Advisors Funding 2014-1 Ltd./LLC New Issue Report’ (Aug. 6, 2014)

–‘Halcyon Loan Advisors Funding 2014-1 Ltd./LLC – Appendix’ (Aug. 6, 2014).

Applicable Criteria and Related Research:

Global Structured Finance Rating Criteria

http://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=754389

Global Rating Criteria for Corporate CDOs

http://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=753057

Counterparty Criteria for Structured Finance and Covered Bonds

http://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=744158

Halcyon Loan Advisors Funding 2014-1 Ltd./LLC

http://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=751434

Halcyon Loan Advisors Funding 2014-1 Ltd./LLC — Appendix

http://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=753097

Additional Disclosure

Solicitation Status

http://www.fitchratings.com/gws/en/disclosure/solicitation?pr_id=979255

ALL FITCH CREDIT RATINGS ARE SUBJECT TO CERTAIN LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS. PLEASE READ THESE LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS BY FOLLOWING THIS LINK: HTTP://FITCHRATINGS.COM/UNDERSTANDINGCREDITRATINGS. IN ADDITION, RATING DEFINITIONS AND THE TERMS OF USE OF SUCH RATINGS ARE AVAILABLE ON THE AGENCY’S PUBLIC WEBSITE ‘WWW.FITCHRATINGS.COM‘. PUBLISHED RATINGS, CRITERIA AND METHODOLOGIES ARE AVAILABLE FROM THIS SITE AT ALL TIMES. FITCH’S CODE OF CONDUCT, CONFIDENTIALITY, CONFLICTS OF INTEREST, AFFILIATE FIREWALL, COMPLIANCE AND OTHER RELEVANT POLICIES AND PROCEDURES ARE ALSO AVAILABLE FROM THE ‘CODE OF CONDUCT’ SECTION OF THIS SITE. FITCH MAY HAVE PROVIDED ANOTHER PERMISSIBLE SERVICE TO THE RATED ENTITY OR ITS RELATED THIRD PARTIES. DETAILS OF THIS SERVICE FOR RATINGS FOR WHICH THE LEAD ANALYST IS BASED IN AN EU-REGISTERED ENTITY CAN BE FOUND ON THE ENTITY SUMMARY PAGE FOR THIS ISSUER ON THE FITCH WEBSITE.

Security Upgrades & DowngradesFinanceFitch Ratings Contact:

Fitch Ratings

Primary Surveillance Analyst:

Christine Choo, +1-212-908-0603

Director

Fitch Ratings, Inc.

33 Whitehall Street

New York, NY 10004

or

Committee Chairperson:

Alina Pak, CFA, +1-312-368-3184

Senior Director

or

Media Relations:

Sandro Scenga, New York, +1-212-908-0278

sandro.scenga@fitchratings.com […]

Fitch to Rate Dryden 37 Senior Loan Fund/LLC; Issues Presale

CHICAGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–

Fitch Ratings expects to assign the following rating and Rating Outlook to Dryden 37 Senior Loan Fund/LLC:

–$320,000,000 class A notes ‘AAAsf’; Outlook Stable.

Fitch does not expect to rate the class B, C, D, E, or F notes, or the subordinated notes.

TRANSACTION SUMMARY

Dryden 37 Senior Loan Fund (the issuer) and Dryden 37 Senior Loan Fund LLC (the co-issuer) represent an arbitrage cash flow collateralized loan obligation (CLO) that will be managed by Prudential Investment Management, Inc. (Prudential). Net proceeds from the issuance of notes will be used to purchase a portfolio of approximately $500 million of leveraged loans. The CLO will have a four-year reinvestment period.

KEY RATING DRIVERS

Sufficient Credit Enhancement: Credit enhancement (CE) of 36% for class A, in addition to excess spread, is sufficient to protect against portfolio default and recovery rate projections in the ‘AAAsf’ stress scenario. The level of CE for the class A notes is below the average for recent CLO issuances.

‘B+/B’ Asset Quality: The average credit quality of the indicative portfolio is ‘B+/B’, which is slightly better than that of recent CLOs. Issuers rated in the ‘B’ rating category denote relatively weak credit quality; however, in Fitch Ratings’ opinion, the class A notes are unlikely to be affected by the foreseeable level of defaults. The class A notes are robust against default rates of up to 57.0%.

Strong Recovery Expectations: The indicative portfolio consists of 96.3% first-lien senior-secured loans. Approximately 83% of the indicative portfolio has either strong recovery prospects or a Fitch-assigned recovery rating of ‘RR2’ or higher, resulting in a base case recovery assumption of 76.2%. In determination of the class A note rating, Fitch stressed the indicative portfolio by assuming a higher portfolio concentration of assets with lower recovery prospects and further reduced recovery assumptions for higher rating stress assumptions. The analysis of Dryden 37 class A notes assumed a 34.7% recovery rate in Fitch’s ‘AAAsf’ scenario.

RATING SENSITIVITIES

Fitch evaluated the structure’s sensitivity to the potential variability of key model assumptions including decreases in weighted average spread or recovery rates and increases in default rates or correlation. Fitch expects the class A notes to remain investment grade even under the most extreme sensitivity scenarios. Results under these sensitivity scenarios ranged between ‘A-sf’ and ‘AAAsf’ for the class A notes.

The expected ratings are based on information provided to Fitch as of Jan. 29, 2015. Sources of information used to assess these ratings were provided by the arranger, J.P. Morgan Securities LLC, and the public domain.

Key Rating Drivers and Rating Sensitivities are further detailed in the accompanying presale report, available at ‘www.fitchratings.com‘ or by clicking on the link.

Additional information is available at ‘www.fitchratings.com‘.

Applicable Criteria & Related Research:

–‘Global Structured Finance Rating Criteria’ (Aug. 4, 2014);

–‘Global Rating Criteria for Corporate CDOs’ (July 25, 2014);

–‘Criteria for Interest Rate Stresses in Structured Finance Transactions and Covered Bonds’ (Dec. 19, 2014);

–‘Counterparty Criteria for Structured Finance and Covered Bonds’ (May 14, 2014).

Applicable Criteria and Related Research: Dryden 37 Senior Loan Fund/LLC

http://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=861208

Global Structured Finance Rating Criteria

http://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=754389

Global Rating Criteria for Corporate CDOs

http://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=753057

Criteria for Interest Rate Stresses in Structured Finance Transactions and Covered Bonds

http://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=838868

Counterparty Criteria for Structured Finance and Covered Bonds

http://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=744158

Additional Disclosure

Solicitation Status

http://www.fitchratings.com/gws/en/disclosure/solicitation?pr_id=978867

ALL FITCH CREDIT RATINGS ARE SUBJECT TO CERTAIN LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS. PLEASE READ THESE LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS BY FOLLOWING THIS LINK: HTTP://FITCHRATINGS.COM/UNDERSTANDINGCREDITRATINGS. IN ADDITION, RATING DEFINITIONS AND THE TERMS OF USE OF SUCH RATINGS ARE AVAILABLE ON THE AGENCY’S PUBLIC WEBSITE ‘WWW.FITCHRATINGS.COM‘. PUBLISHED RATINGS, CRITERIA AND METHODOLOGIES ARE AVAILABLE FROM THIS SITE AT ALL TIMES. FITCH’S CODE OF CONDUCT, CONFIDENTIALITY, CONFLICTS OF INTEREST, AFFILIATE FIREWALL, COMPLIANCE AND OTHER RELEVANT POLICIES AND PROCEDURES ARE ALSO AVAILABLE FROM THE ‘CODE OF CONDUCT’ SECTION OF THIS SITE. FITCH MAY HAVE PROVIDED ANOTHER PERMISSIBLE SERVICE TO THE RATED ENTITY OR ITS RELATED THIRD PARTIES. DETAILS OF THIS SERVICE FOR RATINGS FOR WHICH THE LEAD ANALYST IS BASED IN AN EU-REGISTERED ENTITY CAN BE FOUND ON THE ENTITY SUMMARY PAGE FOR THIS ISSUER ON THE FITCH WEBSITE.

Security Upgrades & DowngradesInvestment & Company InformationFitch Ratings Contact:

Fitch Ratings

Primary Analyst

Aaron Hughes

Director

+1-312-368-2074

Fitch Ratings, Inc.

70 West Madison Street

Chicago, IL 60602

or

Secondary Analyst

Cristina Feracota

Associate Director

+1-312-606-2300

or

Committee Chairperson

Derek Miller

Senior Director

+1-312-368-2076

or

Media Relations

Sandro Scenga, +1 212-908-0278

sandro.scenga@fitchratings.com […]

Attorney General Kane files lawsuit over alleged illegal payday loan …

Image lawsuitfiled.jpg

Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane today announced a consumer protection lawsuit against a Texas-based company for allegedly engineering an illegal payday loan scheme over the Internet. According to the lawsuit, the defendants allegedly targeted Pennsylvania consumers in violation of state law.

The civil lawsuit was filed in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County against Think Finance Inc. (formerly ThinkCash), TC Loan Services LLC, Elevate Credit Inc., Financial U LLC and former Chief Executive Officer Kenneth E. Rees. Rees and the companies use an address of 4150 International Plaza, Suite 400, Fort Worth, Texas.

Payday loans, which typically charge interest rates as high as 200 or 300 percent, are illegal in Pennsylvania. According to the lawsuit, Think Finance targets consumers in Pennsylvania using three Native American tribes, who function as the apparent lender, as a cover. In turn, Think Finance earns significant revenues from various services it charges to the tribes.

According to the lawsuit, before establishing these tribal partnerships, the company allegedly used the cover of a rogue bank based in Center City Philadelphia, in what is commonly referred to as a “rent-a-bank” scheme, until the federal government shut down the bank.

A Think Finance press release in 2013 stated the company had more than $500 million in revenues – up from $100 million in 2010 – and had provided more than $3.5 billion in loans to 1.5 million consumers in the U.S. and internationally.

Also named in the lawsuit is an Internet marketer, Selling Source LLC, which used its “MoneyMutual” website and television commercials to generate online leads for high-rate lenders, including at least one tribal lender.

Selling Source allegedly made referrals of Pennsylvania residents to the scheme for a commission, even after it was ordered to stop those referrals in a 2011 agreement with the Pennsylvania Department of Banking. The lawsuit also includes various debt collectors as defendants, including the Washington-based law firm of Weinstein, Pinson and Riley PS, Cerastes LLC and National Credit Adjusters LLC, which are allegedly utilized to collect debts derived from illegal loans.

Attorney General Kane explained that in operating and participating in the scheme, the defendants are accused of violating several Pennsylvania laws including the Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law, the Corrupt Organizations Act and the Fair Credit Extension Uniformity Act.

In the lawsuit, the Attorney General is seeking, among other things:

Injunctive relief to prohibit defendants from violating Pennsylvania law; Restitution for all consumers harmed by the scheme; Civil penalties of up to $1,000 for each violation of Pennsylvania law; Civil penalties of up to $3,000 for each violation involving a senior citizen; and Notification of credit bureaus to remove all negative information related to the scheme and all references to any of the defendants from consumers’ credit reports.

Attorney General Kane said the Bureau of Consumer Protection has already received information from numerous complaints against these companies, and she believes there are many more victims who have not yet filed a complaint.

“Any Pennsylvania residents with problems or complaints involving payday loans or related debt collection should get in touch with us immediately,” said Attorney General Kane.

Consumers can call the Attorney General’s toll-free consumer protection hotline at 1-800-441-2555.

The lawsuit was submitted for filing in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County by Deputy Attorney General Saverio P. Mirarchi of the Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. Assisting him, as Special Counsel, is the Philadelphia law firm Langer Grogan & Diver PC.

[…]

Buying A Home: Cash Vs. Mortgage

Everywhere you turn, you hear how bad it is to carry around debt. So naturally, it’s logical to think that buying a home with cash – or sinking as much cash as possible into your home to avoid the massive debt associated with a mortgage, is the smartest choice for your financial health.

But there’s a lot to consider when contemplating purchasing a home with cash versus obtaining financing via a mortgage.

Cash Cuts Costs – And Wins Bidding Wars

Paying cash for a home eliminates the need to pay interest on the loan and many closing costs. “When buying a house with cash, there are no mortgage origination fees, appraisal fees or other fees charged by lenders to assess buyers,” says Robert Semrad, JD, senior partner and founder of DebtStoppers Bankruptcy Law Firm of Robert J. Semrad & Associates, LLC, headquartered in Chicago.

Paying all cash can also make your purchase offer more attractive to sellers. “In a competitive market, a seller is likely to take a cash offer over other offers because they don’t have to worry about a buyer backing out due to financing being denied,” says Peter Grabel, managing director, MLO Luxury Mortgage Corp in Stamford, Conn.

A cash home purchase also has the flexibility of closing faster (if desired) than one requiring financing, which could be attractive to a seller. Those benefits to the seller shouldn’t come without a price. “A cash buyer might be able to obtain the property for lower price and receive a ‘cash discount’ of sorts,” says Grabel.

Also, a cash buyer’s home is not leveraged, which allows a homeowner to sell the house more easily – even at a loss – regardless of market conditions.

Mortgages Can Also Make Sense

?Obtaining financing also has significant benefits. “Even if a buyer has the ability to pay cash for a home, it might make sense to not tie up a lot of cash to purchase real estate,” says Grabel. Doing so could tie your hands down the road.

“Cash buyers need to be sure to leave to leave themselves plenty of liquidity,” says Grabel. If the home requires major repairs or renovations, it may be tough to obtain a home equity mortgage down the road as you don’t know what your credit score will look like in the future, how much the home will then be worth or other factors that determine approval for a mortgage.

Selling a home bought with cash could also be a problem if the owners stretched a lot financially to buy it. “If cash buyers decide it’s time to sell, they need to make sure they will have sufficient cash reserves to put down as a deposit on the new home,” says Grabel.

Paying cash also has tax implications. “In most cases, mortgage interest payments are tax deductible,” says Semrad. The reduced tax obligation may be an advantageous way to finance the house.

Depending on the state of the stock market, Semrad also notes that saving on mortgage interest by paying cash might not be financially prudent. You could be making less than that money might have earned had you taken out a mortgage and invested the cash you didn’t spend on your house in the market.

Not having a mortgage could also negate a homestead exemption if you find yourself seriously in debt in the future. Most states grant consumers a certain level of protection from creditors regarding their home. Some states, such as Florida, completely exempt the house from the reach of certain creditors. “That means, regardless of the value of the house, creditors cannot force its sale to satisfy their claims,” says Semrad.

Other states set limits ranging from as little as $5,000 to up to $550,000. Here’s how it works: If your home is worth $500,000 and the home’s mortgage is $400,000, your homestead exemption could prevent the forced sale of your home in order to pay creditors the $100,000 of equity in your home as long as your state’s homestead exemption is at least $100,000. If your state’s exemption is less than $100,000, a bankruptcy trustee could still force the sale of your home to pay creditors with the home’s equity in excess of the exemption.

Having a mortgage won’t completely protect your money, however. “If a homeowner left the funds in the bank and financed the house, a judgment creditor could lien the bank account and use the majority of the funds to satisfy its claims,” says Semrad.

The Bottom Line

The best advice when considering which option makes the most sense is to opt for the choice that gives you the bigger bang for your buck. Also ask yourself which will provide the greater return on your investment.

“Paying cash for the full purchase price of a house is similar to investing in a bond that pays the same interest rate you’d pay with a mortgage,” says James Bregenzer, owner of Bregenzer Group LLC, a private equity and capital management company in Indianapolis, Ind. For example, opting to not pay a 30-year mortgage with a 5.5% interest rate is essentially the same as realizing a 5.5% return on the investment price.

If you decide to purchase a house with a loan, make sure you can easily afford the principal, interest, property taxes, homeowners insurance, homeowner association and other fees each month. And no matter how you pay for a house, make sure to have an emergency savings account equal to 6 to 12 months of expenses in case your personal economy declines and you need a financial buffer. For more information, read Should You Pay All Cash For Your Next Home?

[…]

Fitch to Rate Sound Harbor Loan Fund 2014-1, Ltd./LLC; Presale Issued

CHICAGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–

Fitch Ratings expects to assign the following ratings to Sound Harbor Loan Fund 2014-1, Ltd./LLC (SHLF 2014-1):

–$281,200,000 class A-1 notes ‘AAAsf’; Outlook Stable.

Fitch does not expect to rate the class A-2, B, C, D or subordinated notes.

TRANSACTION SUMMARY

Sound Harbor Loan Fund 2014-1, Ltd. (the issuer) and Sound Harbor Loan Fund 2014-1, LLC (the co-issuer) together comprise an arbitrage cash flow collateralized loan obligation (CLO) that will be managed by Sound Harbor Partners LLC (Sound Harbor). Net proceeds from the issuance of the secured and subordinated notes will be used to purchase a portfolio of approximately $450 million of primarily senior secured leveraged loans. The CLO will have a four-year reinvestment period and a two-year noncall period.

KEY RATING DRIVERS

Sufficient Credit Enhancement: Credit enhancement (CE) of 37.5% for the class A-1 notes, in addition to excess spread, is sufficient to protect against portfolio default and recovery rate projections in a ‘AAAsf’ stress scenario. The degree of CE available to the class A-1 notes is in line with the average CE of recent CLO issuances.

‘B’ Asset Quality: The average credit quality of the indicative portfolio is ‘B’, which is comparable to recent CLOs. Issuers rated in the ‘B’ rating category denote relatively weak credit quality; however, in Fitch Ratings’ opinion, class A-1 notes are unlikely to be affected by the foreseeable level of defaults. Class A-1 notes are projected to be able to withstand default rates of up to 62.4%.

Strong Recovery Expectations: The indicative portfolio consists of 97.5% first lien senior-secured loans. Approximately 93% of the indicative portfolio has either strong recovery prospects or a Fitch-assigned recovery rating of ‘RR2’ or higher, resulting in a base case recovery assumption of 76.8%. In determining the class A-1 note rating, Fitch stressed the indicative portfolio by assuming a higher portfolio concentration of assets with lower recovery prospects and further reduced recovery assumptions for higher rating stress assumptions. The analysis of SHLF class A-1 notes assumed a 35.7% recovery rate in Fitch’s ‘AAAsf’ scenario.

RATING SENSITIVITIES

In addition to Fitch’s stated criteria, the agency analyzed the structure’s sensitivity to the potential variability of key model assumptions including decreases in weighted average spread or recovery rates and increases in default rates or correlation. Fitch expects the class A-1 notes to remain investment grade even under the most extreme sensitivity scenarios. Results under these sensitivity scenarios ranged between ‘A-sf’ and ‘AAAsf’ for the class A-1 notes.

The expected ratings are based on information provided to Fitch as of Sept. 18, 2014. Sources of information used to assess these ratings were provided by the arranger, J.P. Morgan Securities LLC, and the public domain. Key Rating Drivers and Rating Sensitivities are further described in the accompanying presale report.

The presale report is available to investors on Fitch’s web site at www.fitchratings.com. For more information about Fitch’s comprehensive subscription service FitchResearch, which includes all presale reports, surveillance and credit reports on more than 20 asset classes, contact product sales at +1-212-908-0800 or at ‘webmaster@fitchratings.com‘.

Additional information is available at ‘www.fitchratings.com‘.

Applicable Criteria & Related Research:

–‘Global Structured Finance Rating Criteria’ (Aug. 4, 2014);

–‘Global Rating Criteria for Corporate CDOs’ (July 25, 2014);

–‘Criteria for Interest Rate Stresses in Structured Finance Transactions and Covered Bonds’ (Jan. 23, 2014);

–‘Counterparty Criteria for Structured Finance and Covered Bonds’ (May 14, 2014).

Applicable Criteria and Related Research: Sound Harbor Loan Fund 2014-1, Ltd./LLC

http://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=772528

Global Structured Finance Rating Criteria

http://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=754389

Global Rating Criteria for Corporate CDOs

http://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=753057

Criteria for Interest Rate Stresses in Structured Finance Transactions and Covered Bonds

http://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=725537

Counterparty Criteria for Structured Finance and Covered Bonds

http://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=744158

Additional Disclosure

Solicitation Status

http://www.fitchratings.com/gws/en/disclosure/solicitation?pr_id=877874

ALL FITCH CREDIT RATINGS ARE SUBJECT TO CERTAIN LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS. PLEASE READ THESE LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS BY FOLLOWING THIS LINK: HTTP://FITCHRATINGS.COM/UNDERSTANDINGCREDITRATINGS. IN ADDITION, RATING DEFINITIONS AND THE TERMS OF USE OF SUCH RATINGS ARE AVAILABLE ON THE AGENCY’S PUBLIC WEBSITE ‘WWW.FITCHRATINGS.COM‘. PUBLISHED RATINGS, CRITERIA AND METHODOLOGIES ARE AVAILABLE FROM THIS SITE AT ALL TIMES. FITCH’S CODE OF CONDUCT, CONFIDENTIALITY, CONFLICTS OF INTEREST, AFFILIATE FIREWALL, COMPLIANCE AND OTHER RELEVANT POLICIES AND PROCEDURES ARE ALSO AVAILABLE FROM THE ‘CODE OF CONDUCT’ SECTION OF THIS SITE. FITCH MAY HAVE PROVIDED ANOTHER PERMISSIBLE SERVICE TO THE RATED ENTITY OR ITS RELATED THIRD PARTIES. DETAILS OF THIS SERVICE FOR RATINGS FOR WHICH THE LEAD ANALYST IS BASED IN AN EU-REGISTERED ENTITY CAN BE FOUND ON THE ENTITY SUMMARY PAGE FOR THIS ISSUER ON THE FITCH WEBSITE.

Security Upgrades & DowngradesInvestment & Company InformationFitch Ratings Contact:

Fitch Ratings

Primary Analyst:

Aaron Hughes, +1-312-368-2074

Director

Fitch Ratings, Inc.

70 West Madison Street

Chicago, IL 60602

or

Secondary Analyst:

Bradley Howe, +1-312-368-2081

Associate Director

or

Committee Chairperson:

Derek Miller, +1-312-368-2076

Senior Director

or

Media Relations:

Sandro Scenga, New York, +1-212-908-0278

sandro.scenga@fitchratings.com […]

SDLP – Seadrill Partners LLC Announces Second Quarter 2014 Results

Highlights

Seadrill Partners reports net income attributable to Seadrill Partners LLC Members for the second quarter 2014 of US$31.2 million and net operating income of US$168.6 million.Generated distributable cash flow of US$51.9 million for the second quarter 2014 representing a coverage ratio of 1.09x.Declared an increased distribution for the second quarter of US$0.5425 per unit, an increase of 7% over the first quarter distribution.Completed US$1.1 billion add-on term loan B. Proceeds of the term loan refinanced existing indebtedness and increased liquidity.Issued a total of 6.1 million common units to the public and 3.2 million common units to Seadrill Limited for general corporate purposesEconomic utilization for the second quarter of 94%

Subsequent Events

Completed the acquisition of an additional 28% interest in Seadrill Operating LP for US$373 million

Financial Results Overview

Seadrill Partners LLC1 reports:

Total contract revenues of US$339.6 million for the second quarter 2014 (the “second quarter”) compared to US$260.6 million in the first quarter of 2014 (the “first quarter”). The increase is primarily driven by a full quarter of operations for the West Auriga and improved uptime on the West Aquarius, West Capricorn, and West Leo.

Operating income for the quarter of US$168.6 million compared to US$123.6 million in the preceding quarter. The increase is largely as a result of the West Auriga and uptime improvements described above.

Net Income for the quarter of US$94.3 million compared to US$43.8 million in the previous quarter. This is after the recognition of the gain/loss on derivative instruments, which reflected a loss of US$27.8 million in the second quarter as compared to a loss of US$49.2 million for the first quarter as a result of a decrease in long term interest rates in the second quarter as well as a higher level of interest rate swaps as at the end of the second quarter. The unrealized non-cash element of these amounts is US$23.5 million loss in the second quarter 2014 and a US$49.8 million loss for the first quarter 2014.

____________________

1) All references to “Seadrill Partners” and “the Company” refer to Seadrill Partners LLC and its subsidiaries, including the operating companies that indirectly own interests in the drilling rigs Seadrill Partners LLC owns: (i) a 30% limited partner interest in Seadrill Operating LP, as well as the non-economic general partner interest in Seadrill Operating LP through its 100% ownership of its general partner, Seadrill Operating GP LLC, (ii) a 51% limited liability company interest in Seadrill Capricorn Holdings LLC and (iii) a 100% limited liability company interest in Seadrill Partners Operating LLC. Seadrill Operating LP owns: (i) a 100% interest in the entities that own the West Aquarius, West Leo and the West Vencedor and (ii) an approximate 56% interest in the entity that owns and operates the West Capella. Seadrill Capricorn Holdings LLC owns 100% of the entities that own and operate the West Capricorn,West Sirius and West Auriga. Seadrill Partners Operating LLC owns 100% of the entities that own and operate the T-15 and T-16 tender barges.

Net income attributable to Seadrill Partners LLC Members was US$31.2 million for the second quarter compared to US$19.8 million for the previous quarter.

Distributable cash flow was US$51.9 million for Seadrill Partners` second quarter as compared to US$30.0 million for the previous quarter2 giving a coverage ratio of 1.09x for the second quarter. The increase is mainly as a result of a full quarter of operations for the West Auriga and improved uptime on the West Aquarius, West Capricorn, and West Leo.

The coverage ratio has been negatively impacted by the increase in units outstanding following the June equity issuance as the second quarter distribution is payable on all outstanding units at the record date. Excluding the distribution in relation to the new units issues in the June equity offering, the coverage ratio would have been 1.22x.

Distribution for the period of US$0.5425 per unit, equivalent to an annual distribution of US$2.17, represents a 40% increase from the Company`s minimum quarterly distribution set at its IPO. Subsequent to the acquisition of an additional 28% ownership interest in Seadrill Operating LP the Company will own a 58% interest in the operating company. The transaction is expected to be cash flow and net asset value accretive and therefore to lead to increased distributions.

__________________

2) Please see Appendix A for a reconciliation of DCF to net income, the most directly comparable GAAP financial measure.

Operations

Seadrill Partners has an interest in nine rigs in operation. The fleet is comprised of four semi-submersible rigs, two drillships and three tender rigs operating in Canada, the US Gulf of Mexico, Ghana, Nigeria, Angola and Thailand respectively.

Overall economic utilization for the fleet was 94% for the second quarter. Following the operational issues related to third party equipment on the West Aquarius, operations have returned to normal as spare parts were located on similar units, demonstrating the synergies of being associated with a strong parent such as Seadrill Limited.

Total operating expenses for the second quarter were US$177.7 million, compared to US$151.7 million in the previous quarter the increase is largely as a result of the West Auriga operating for a full quarter. The Company has good cost controls in place and sees little risk of changes to the operating cost structure.

Acquisitions

On July 21, 2014 Seadrill Partners completed the acquisition of an additional 28% interest in Seadrill Operating LP for a total consideration of US$373 million. Seadrill Operating LP has an ownership interest in three ultra-deepwater drilling rigs, West Aquarius, West Leo and West Cappella, and one semi tender rig, the West Vencedor. The Company now owns a 58% interest in Seadrill Operating LP which in line with the ownership level of the Company`s other ultra-deepwater operating company which is 51% owned. The transaction increases exposure to assets that are well known to the Company and that have stable cash flows. The transaction is expected to be cash flow and net asset value accretive and therefore to lead to increased distributions.

The gross value of the 28% share acquired, after deducting the 44% non-controlling interest in the West Capella, was $804 million. The 28% share of the debt associated with the four rigs owned by Seadrill Operating L.P., net of the West Capella non-controlling interest, was $431 million. The equity portion was therefore $373 million.

The acquisition was funded with a combination of cash and proceeds from the US$300 million equity offering completed on June 19, 2014 and surplus funds from the Company`s recent term loan B financing. The Company sold a total of 6.1 million common units to the public and 3.2 million common units to Seadrill Limited in June 2014.

Financing and Liquidity

As of June 30, 2014, the Company had cash and cash equivalents, on a consolidated basis, of US$523.3 million and two revolving credit facilities totaling US$200 million. One US$100mm facility is provided by Seadrill as the lender and the second US$100mm facility is provided by a syndicate of banks and is secured in connection with the $2.9 billion term loan B. As of June 30, 2014, these facilities were undrawn. Total debt was US$3,248.8 million as of June 30, 2014; US$251 million of this debt was originally incurred by Seadrill, as borrower, in connection with its acquisition of the drilling rigs.

As of June 30, 2014 the Company had two secured credit facilities, in addition to the term loan B. These facilities expire in 2015 and 2017. A refinancing strategy should be expected at maturity debt levels or higher. Additionally the Company has a US$109.5 million vendor loan from Seadrill maturing in 2016 relating to the acquisition of the T-15.

In June 2014, Seadrill Partners executed a US$1.1 billion add-on term loan B. The term loan was upsized from US$1 billion, priced at the existing rate of Libor plus 3%, subsequently swapped to a fixed rate of approximately 5.5% and will be borrowed on substantially the same terms as the Company`s existing US$1.8 billion senior secured term loan B incurred in February 2014. The 1% amortization profile of the new facility further enables the Company to more efficiently manage its replacement capital expenditure reserves by investing in new assets. Following the completion of the add-on term loan the Company`s BB-/Ba3 rating has been reaffirmed by both S&P and Moody`s.

The Board is confident that a similar refinancing can be executed on the remaining back to back loans and related party debt in order to complete the separation of Seadrill Partners` capital structure from Seadrill Limited and further facilitate Seadrill Partners` growth.

As of June 30, 2014, Seadrill Partners had interest rate swaps outstanding on principal debt of US$3,164.2 million. All of the interest rate swap agreements were entered into subsequent to the IPO Closing Date and represent approximately 97% of debt obligations as of June 30, 2014. The average swapped rate, excluding bank margins, is approximately 2.40%. The Company has a policy of hedging the significant majority of its long-term interest rate exposure in order to reduce the risk of a rising interest rate environment.

Market

The oil market fundamentals continue to be strong with high and stable oil prices. Except for very brief periods the oil price has remained above US$100 for the last 3.5 years and the global economy continues along its growth path following the financial crisis. Even with these strong macro fundamentals oil companies seem to be unable to generate free cash flow to grow their businesses and have entered into a period of selectivity on projects as costs escalated across their entire portfolio of projects. The current situation has some similarities to the situation in 2002-2003 when oil companies had limited free cash flow to develop new reserves. This led to an increase in oil price between 2003-2008 when Brent moved from approximately US$40 to US$100 and resulted in increased investment by the oil companies. Today, the the majority of low cost inventory has been produced and oil companies are entering a new phase in which recently discovered oil must be developed in order to grow production. These reserves are in the deep and ultra-deepwater and are far more complex than reserves discovered in prior periods. We can thereby assume that the amount of rig capacity which is needed to produce a barrel of offshore oil in the future will increase.

Over the long term, return on invested capital will be the ultimate driver of capital allocation decisions and the attractive economics of the deep and ultra-deepwater will lead to increased exploration and development spending in these regions. This view is supported by most of the major oil companies.

Ultra-Deepwater Floaters

The near term market for ultra-deepwater drilling units continues to be challenging partly driven by a reduction in exploration drilling which has led to a slower growth rate in overall upstream spending. However, there is evidence of positive developments in the number of tenders that have materialized for 2015 and 2016 projects. In the meantime, independent E&P`s could potentially fill some of the exploration gap that has been created by the cuts in exploration spending from the major oil companies.

The reported overall contracting activity has increased however we see some industry participants, especially those with older units and significant portions of their fleet requiring renewal in the short term, driving prices down. The uncertain cash flow profile of these older units is forcing contractors to make difficult decisions and lock up their best assets in order to gain some clarity on the near term outlook for their business. Older 4th and 5th generations assets are quickly losing pricing power and rates are falling faster than high-specification units. Many of these units are facing high capital expenditure requirements in order to remain part of the active fleet and owners of these assets face decisions to upgrade, swap out with a new unit, or retire the asset. We have seen two examples of this recently in Norway that may prove to be a leading indicator for trends in the global market. Worldwide, out of a total active floater fleet of approximately 300 units there are 128 units more than 25 years old. It is estimated that 70 of these units will be required to have 5 year classing surveys between now and 2017. The total cost for such a classifications can easily be in excess of US$100 million.

Seadrill Partners remains in the best possible competitive position with long term contracts, robust backlog and little exposure to the near term dayrate environment.

The longer term outlook for floaters remains solid. The number of newbuild announcements has rapidly declined and existing newbuild projects are extending delivery dates. Major oil companies continue to focus their activity on 6th generation units with high variable deckload capacity, dual BOP`s, and dual activity capabilities in a bid to advance the safety and efficiency of the rigs they employ. Several oil companies are also now introducing requirements for managed pressure drilling equipment. This is not simply a matter of preference that can dissipate if customer preferences change. This migration to a higher specification fleet is in part dictated by the increasingly challenging project requirements of recent discoveries. Oil companies must now develop the challenging reserves discovered in recent years in order to replace reserves and grow production.

The main driver on the demand side will be the anticipated need to drill development wells to bring ultra-deepwater production from the present level of approximately 1.3 million barrels per day to 5 million barrels per day forecast in 2020. The delivery of 73 ultra-deepwater newbuildings from today until 2018 will increase capacity. However, it can be anticipated that a significant part of the 128 rigs that are more than 25 years old will be retired from service as they come up for classing surveys due to uneconomic classification budgets. At the same time, ordering of new rigs has more or less stopped which sets the framework for a sharp upturn when demand and supply again are balanced.

Activity in Brazil has shown the most notable improvement as Petrobras tendered their first new rig in three years and is progressing through the acceptance process for the 2015 extensions. Following a year when the market saw a number of rigs leaving the country this is certainly a step forward. Although a seemingly bearish sign to see rigs leaving the biggest operator, it was in fact a very natural market development and a perfect example of the bifurcation and fleet renewal that is occurring on a global scale today. In addition to Petrobras` initial tender and expected extension of six rigs that have contracts expiring in 2015, it is expected that an additional three to four assets will be needed in the sort term to meet drilling requirements on the Libra field, with up to ten units expected to be required in total.

The West African market continues to be an active region for tendering activity as oil companies` move into their next budgeting cycle. In particular we see opportunities in Nigeria, Angola, and Ghana as companies work through regulatory approval processes. As demonstrated by Seadrill`s contract announcements for the West Jupiter and West Saturn, tenders will get completed; however patience and working constructively with stakeholders are key for success. Additionally, there is a clear trend that going forward companies will need to develop a strong local presence to be competitive in these markets. Not only is there political pressure to increase local content, but also a clear economic benefit in replacing international workers with local crew.

The US Gulf of Mexico is the primary market that may see a pickup in short term exploration activity given the number of indigenous independent E&P companies in the region. We have already seen opportunistic independent oil and gas companies use the present market weakness to tender for projects where profitability has improved due to lower rig rates. We see some potential to fill in a portion of the exploration spending that has been cut by the major oil companies. Longer term opportunities will materialize, however we expect this to be pushed into 2015 and 2016 similar to other regions.

In Mexico, the energy reform process is progressing at an impressive pace. Following the acceptance of major oil companies into the region and the beginning of formal licensing rounds, demand for floaters should follow. Seadrill continues to be well positioned with PEMEX having operated the West Pegasus for the last 2.5 years with a high degree of success and more recently mobilizing 5 jack-ups to the region. In the intermediate term, prior to the awarding of licenses to major oil companies there may an opportunity for a number of additional floaters based on the current budgeted spending from PEMEX.

Outlook

The second quarter of 2014 was a success for Seadrill Partners having executed an add-on US$1.1 billion term loan B and successful equity offering. Additionally, operations have improved materially since the challenges encountered during first quarter and we have achieved an overall economic uptime of 94%.

Distributions have grown 7% during the second quarter, and 40% since the Company`s IPO in 2012. This growth exceeds the Board`s anticipated annual growth rate of 15% at the time of the Company`s initial public offering in October 2012. Seadrill Partners achieved a coverage ratio of 1.09x during the second quarter even after taking into consideration the increased share count following the equity offering in June. The Company continues to target a coverage ratio of 1.1x after accounting for maintenance and replacement reserves.

This track record demonstrates Seadrill Partners` commitment to growth. The Board and management team remain committed to growing distributions by acquiring operating company units or additional assets. The Board is pleased the Company has managed to diversify its fleet and reached the point where it is prudent to acquire operating company units. By moving swiftly to acquire an additional 5 rigs since IPO Seadrill Partners has opened up a new avenue for distribution growth.

The add-on term loan B completed in June is another important step towards rationalizing Seadrill Parnters` debt structure which makes the Company well positioned for future growth. The transaction, originally marketed as a US$1 billion facility and upsized to US$1.1 billion, is an add-on to the existing US$1.8 billion facility executed in February of this year and priced at the existing loan`s rate of Libor plus 3%. This represents a continuation of the strategy to refinance existing debt of acquired rigs at the partnership level with a more appropriate amortization profile. The addition of another two units to the Borrower Group increases contract duration and further diversifies the cash flows supporting the Company`s credit. By upsizing the loan, the market has acknowledged Seadrill Partners` long term contracted cash flow, visible growth profile and high quality fleet.

During the remainder of the year the Company will continue to explore financing alternatives to refinance the remaining related party debt on the West Vencedor, T-15 and T-16 at the Seadrill Partners level and continue to manage the capital structure to maximize distributable cash flow.

Operationally, the Board and management team are pleased with the improvements shown during the second quarter. The 94% utilization rate reflects the return to normal operations of the West Aquarius and West Capricorn. The ability of an MLP to maintain distributions during periods of operational challenges is linked to fleet size. The West Aquarius would have had a much more pronounced impact had Seadrill Partners owned fewer assets in its portfolio. Seadrill Partner`s ability to quickly grow its fleet has put the Company in the position to manage through periodic downtime while growing distributions. Thus far in the third quarter The West Capricorn has experienced 21 days of downtime due to BOP issues but has now returned to service. Utilization for the rest of the fleet to date in the third quarter is approximately 95% and the Company currently expects to achieve its targeted coverage ratio for the third quarter.

Distributable cash flow for the third quarter of 2014 will be positively impacted by the cash contribution from the additional 28% interest in Seadrill Operating LP. The acquisition increases exposure to assets that are well known to the Company and that have stable cash flows. The transaction is expected to be cash flow and net asset value accretive and therefore to lead to increased distributions.

The Board remains committed to its high growth acquisition strategy in order to strengthen the fleet composition, diversify the customer base, and increase backlog. The Company`s modern best in class fleet and long term contracts protect the Company from the current short-term negative market sentiment. It is a realistic scenario that demand growth for development drilling will have outpaced supply growth when the Company`s existing contracts roll off. Significant old capacity is expected to leave the market, while limited newbuild projects are likely to be initiated. This may put the Company in a strong negotiating position when it comes time to re-contract units. With an orderbacklog of US$5.1 billion, a new fleet and solid prospects for future growth the Board looks optimistically toward the future.

August 27, 2014

The Board of Directors

Seadrill Partners LLC

London, UK.

Questions should be directed to:

Graham Robjohns: Chief Executive Officer

Rune Magnus Lundetrae: Chief Financial Officer

Seadrill Partners Fleet Status
Seadrill Partners 2Q 2014 Results


This announcement is distributed by NASDAQ OMX Corporate Solutions on behalf of NASDAQ OMX Corporate Solutions clients.

The issuer of this announcement warrants that they are solely responsible for the content, accuracy and originality of the information contained therein.
Source: Seadrill Partners LLC via GlobeNewswire
HUG#1851480

FinanceInvestment & Company InformationSeadrill […]

Fitch to Rate Octagon Loan Funding, Ltd./LLC; Issues Presale

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–

Fitch Ratings expects to assign the following ratings to Octagon Loan Funding, Ltd./LLC:

–$2,500,000 class X notes ‘AAAsf’; Outlook Stable;

–$202,000,000 class A-1 notes ‘AAAsf’; Outlook Stable;

–$50,000,000 class A-2 notes ‘AAAsf’; Outlook Stable.

Fitch does not expect to rate the class B-1, B-2, C, D, E or subordinated notes.

TRANSACTION SUMMARY

Octagon Loan Funding, Ltd. (the issuer) and Octagon Loan Funding, LLC (the co-issuer) together comprise an arbitrage cash flow collateralized loan obligation (CLO) that will be managed by Octagon Credit Investors, LLC (Octagon). Net proceeds from the issuance of the secured and subordinated notes will be used to purchase a portfolio of approximately $400 million of primarily senior secured leveraged loans. The CLO will have a four-year reinvestment period and a two-year noncall period.

KEY RATING DRIVERS

Sufficient Credit Enhancement: Credit enhancement (CE) of 37% for class A-1 and A-2 (together, class A) notes, in addition to excess spread, is sufficient to protect against portfolio default and recovery rate projections in a ‘AAAsf’ stress scenario. The degree of CE available to class A notes is slightly lower than the average CE of recent CLO issuances. Class X notes are expected to be paid in full with interest proceeds by the fourth payment date.

‘B+/B’ Asset Quality: The average credit quality of the indicative portfolio is ‘B+/B,’ which represents somewhat higher credit quality compared to recent CLOs. Issuers rated in the ‘B’ rating category denote a highly speculative credit quality; however, in Fitch’s opinion, class X and A notes are unlikely to be affected by the foreseeable level of defaults. Class X and A notes are projected to be able to withstand default rates of up to 100% and 63.3%, respectively.

Strong Recovery Expectations: The indicative portfolio consists of 94.6% senior secured loans. Approximately 90.6% of the indicative portfolio has strong recovery prospects or a Fitch-assigned Recovery Rating of ‘RR2’ or higher and the base case recovery assumption is 73.6%. In determining ratings for class A notes, Fitch stressed the indicative portfolio by assuming a higher portfolio concentration of assets with lower recovery prospects and further reduced recovery assumptions for higher rating stresses resulting in a 34.4% recovery rate assumption in Fitch’s ‘AAAsf’ scenario.

RATING SENSITIVITIES

Fitch evaluated the structure’s sensitivity to the potential variability of key model assumptions, including decreases in recovery rates and increases in default rates or correlation. Fitch expects the class X notes to remain ‘AAAsf’ and the class A notes to remain investment grade even under the most extreme sensitivity scenarios. Results under these sensitivity scenarios ranged between ‘AA-sf’ and ‘AAAsf’ for the class A notes.

The expected ratings are based on information provided to Fitch as of Aug. 25, 2014. Sources of information used to assess these ratings were provided by the arranger, GreensLedge Capital Markets LLC, and the public domain.

Key Rating Drivers and Rating Sensitivities are further detailed in the accompanying presale report, available at ‘www.fitchratings.com‘.

Additional information is available at ‘www.fitchratings.com‘.

Applicable Criteria & Related Research:

–‘Global Structured Finance Rating Criteria’ (Aug. 4, 2014);

–‘Global Rating Criteria for Corporate CDOs’ (July 25, 2014);

–‘Criteria for Interest Rate Stresses in Structured Finance Transactions and Covered Bonds’ (Jan. 23, 2014);

–‘Counterparty Criteria for Structured Finance and Covered Bonds’ (May 14, 2014).

Applicable Criteria and Related Research: Octagon Loan Funding, Ltd./LLC (US Structured Credit)

http://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=764248

Global Structured Finance Rating Criteria

http://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=754389

Global Rating Criteria for Corporate CDOs

http://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=753057

Criteria for Interest Rate Stresses in Structured Finance Transactions

http://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=695535

Counterparty Criteria for Structured Finance and Covered Bonds

http://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=744158

Additional Disclosure

Solicitation Status

http://www.fitchratings.com/gws/en/disclosure/solicitation?pr_id=857794

ALL FITCH CREDIT RATINGS ARE SUBJECT TO CERTAIN LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS. PLEASE READ THESE LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS BY FOLLOWING THIS LINK: HTTP://FITCHRATINGS.COM/UNDERSTANDINGCREDITRATINGS. IN ADDITION, RATING DEFINITIONS AND THE TERMS OF USE OF SUCH RATINGS ARE AVAILABLE ON THE AGENCY’S PUBLIC WEBSITE ‘WWW.FITCHRATINGS.COM‘. PUBLISHED RATINGS, CRITERIA AND METHODOLOGIES ARE AVAILABLE FROM THIS SITE AT ALL TIMES. FITCH’S CODE OF CONDUCT, CONFIDENTIALITY, CONFLICTS OF INTEREST, AFFILIATE FIREWALL, COMPLIANCE AND OTHER RELEVANT POLICIES AND PROCEDURES ARE ALSO AVAILABLE FROM THE ‘CODE OF CONDUCT’ SECTION OF THIS SITE. FITCH MAY HAVE PROVIDED ANOTHER PERMISSIBLE SERVICE TO THE RATED ENTITY OR ITS RELATED THIRD PARTIES. DETAILS OF THIS SERVICE FOR RATINGS FOR WHICH THE LEAD ANALYST IS BASED IN AN EU-REGISTERED ENTITY CAN BE FOUND ON THE ENTITY SUMMARY PAGE FOR THIS ISSUER ON THE FITCH WEBSITE.

Security Upgrades & DowngradesFinanceFitch Ratings Contact:

Fitch Ratings

Primary Analyst

Erika Tsang, CFA, +1 212-908-0817

Director

Fitch Ratings, Inc.

33 Whitehall Street

New York, NY 10004

or

Secondary Analyst

Trevor Lee, +1 212-908-0881

Analyst

or

Committee Chairperson

Kevin Kendra, +1 212-908-0760

Managing Director

or

Media Relations, New York

Alyssa Castelli, +1 212-908-0540

alyssa.castelli@fitchratings.com […]

easyhome Ltd. Announces New $200 Million Credit Facility and Increases Loan Book and Sales Growth Targets

MISSISSAUGA, ONTARIO–(Marketwired – Jul 28, 2014) – easyhome Ltd. (EH.TO) (“easyhome” or the “Company“), the Canadian leader in providing goods and financial services to the cash and credit constrained consumer, today announced that it has entered into a new $200 million credit facility, replacing the Company’s current debt facilities and providing $115 million of additional capital to support the growth of easyhome’s consumer finance business, easyfinancial.

“Being able to access additional capital allows us to fund and accelerate our growth plans for easyfinancial,” said David Ingram, easyhome’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “We expect to achieve the metrics we set for our total loan book reaching $250 million a year earlier than anticipated – by the end of 2015.”

The Company launched easyfinancial in 2006 to provide term financing to consumers looking for credit alternatives that are more readily accessible than banks and less costly than payday loans. Over the past 36 months, easyfinancial has tripled the size of its consumer loans receivable portfolio to $145 million at June 30, 2014. The additional capital secured today will allow easyfinancial to continue its growth and build upon its leadership position as an alternative provider of term financing to consumers.

“The new credit facility will allow us to capture more of the strong demand for alternative sources of consumer financing in the Canadian marketplace and continue growing our high margin easyfinancial business,” said Steve Goertz, easyhome’s Chief Financial Officer. “Crystal Financial, together with the other term lenders and CIBC, our corporate banking partner, have developed a flexible financing package that meets the needs of easyhome by providing additional capital to support the expected growth of our consumer finance business until the end of 2015 without the need for equity financing while reducing our interest costs.”

The new credit facility, which expires on October 4, 2018, is comprised of a $180 million term loan and a $20 million revolving operating facility. The term loan is being arranged by Crystal Financial LLC on behalf of a syndicate consisting of Crystal Financial LLC and four other lenders. $105 million of the term loan must be drawn at closing with the balance available in periodic advances until July 31, 2015. Borrowings under the term loan bear interest at the Canadian Bankers’ Acceptance rate plus 722 bps (resulting in the current rate on the term debt improving by 1.48% from 9.97% to 8.49%). The revolving operating facility is being provided by CIBC and borrowings under the revolving operating facility bear interest at their prime rate plus 200 to 300 bps, depending on the Company’s total debt to EBITDA ratio.

The new credit facility is secured by a first charge over substantially all of the assets of easyhome and its subsidiaries, contains certain positive, negative and financial covenants, and includes other usual and customary terms and conditions.

“We are pleased to act as Administrative Agent and lead arranger on this new expanded term loan facility for easyhome,” said Steven Migliero, Senior Managing Director of Crystal Financial. “With this increased financing commitment, we believe the Company will continue to grow and maintain their industry leading position.” Added Christopher Arnold, Senior Managing Director of Crystal Financial, “The increased size and improved terms of the entire facility reflect our confidence in their business and the strength of the easyhome team, systems, operational procedures and risk management practices.”

Outlook

As a result of the access to additional capital and the strong growth of the easyfinancial consumer loans receivable portfolio, the Company has revised its loan book and sales growth targets. The Company now anticipates that the loan book will reach $180 – $190 million by the end of 2014. The Company also now anticipates that the previous target of a $250 million loan book by the end of 2016 will be achieved at or before the end of 2015 and the Company is now targeting the loan book to grow to between $320 and $350 million by the end of 2016. Consequently, the Company has also revised its revenue growth targets for 2014 to 14% to 16% (from 10% to 12%).

“We are confident that our growth plans for easyfinancial, including our omni-channel strategy for the distribution of new loans, will enable us to achieve our loan book targets,” said Mr. Ingram. “This continued growth will enable easyfinancial to achieve its goal of becoming Canada’s largest provider of consumer loans as an alternative to traditional banks and payday lenders.”

About easyhome

easyhome Ltd. is the Canadian leader in providing goods and financial services to the cash and credit constrained consumer. easyhome Ltd. serves its customers through two key operating divisions, easyhome Leasing and easyfinancial. easyhome Leasing is Canada’s largest merchandise leasing Company, offering top quality, brand-name household furnishings, appliances and home electronic products to consumers under weekly or monthly leasing agreements through both corporate and franchise stores. easyfinancial is a leading provider of consumer loans as an alternative to traditional banks and payday lenders. easyhome Ltd. is listed on the TSX under the symbol ‘EH’. For more information, visit www.easyhome.ca.

About Crystal Financial

Crystal Financial LLC, a portfolio company of Solar Capital Ltd., is an independent commercial finance company that provides senior and junior secured loans for both asset-based and cash flow financings (minimum of $10 million in fundings) to middle-market companies. Its team of experienced, responsive professionals has underwritten, closed and managed more than $20 billion in secured debt commitments across a wide range of industries. For more information please visit www.crystalfinco.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

This news release includes forward-looking statements about easyhome Ltd., including its business operations, strategy and expected financial performance and condition. Forward-looking statements include statements that are predictive in nature, depend upon or refer to future events or conditions, or include words such as ‘expects’, ‘anticipates’, ‘intends’, ‘plans’, ‘believes’ or negative versions thereof and similar expressions. In addition, any statement that may be made concerning future financial performance (including revenue, earnings or growth rates), ongoing business strategies or prospects about future events is also a forward-looking statement. Forward-looking statements are based on certain factors and assumptions, including expected growth, results of operations and business prospects and are inherently subject to, among other things, risks, uncertainties and assumptions about our operations, economic factors and the industry generally. They are not guarantees of future performance, and actual events and results could differ materially from those expressed or implied by forward-looking statements made by us, due to, but not limited to important factors such as our ability to enter into new lease and/or financing agreements, collect on existing lease and/or financing agreements, open new locations on favourable terms, secure new franchised locations, purchase products which appeal to our customers at a competitive rate, cope with changes in legislation, react to uncertainties related to regulatory actions, raise capital under favourable terms, manage the impact of litigation (including shareholder litigation), control costs at all levels of the organization and maintain and enhance our system of internal controls. We caution that the foregoing list is not exhaustive. The reader is cautioned to consider these and other factors carefully and not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, which may not be appropriate for other purposes. We are under no obligation (and expressly disclaim any such obligation) to update or alter the forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, unless otherwise required by law.

Company EarningsFinance Contact:

easyhome Ltd.

David Ingram

President & Chief Executive Officer

(905) 272-2788

easyhome Ltd.

Steve Goertz

Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

(905) 272-2788

www.easyhome.ca […]

Apollo Commercial Real Estate Finance, Inc. Closes Two Loan Transactions Totaling $54.5 Million

NEW YORK, NY–(Marketwired – July 23, 2014) – Apollo Commercial Real Estate Finance, Inc. (the “Company” or “ARI”) (ARI) today announced the Company closed two commercial real estate loan transactions totaling $54.5 million. Year-to-date, ARI has committed to invest in over $728 million of commercial real estate loan transactions and CMBS.

New Investments
ARI’s new investments include the following:

$20.0 million floating-rate mezzanine loan secured by the equity interest in a 280-key hotel in the NoMad neighborhood of New York City. The mezzanine loan has a two-year initial term and three one-year extension options and an appraised loan-to-value (“LTV”) of 61%. The mezzanine loan was underwritten to generate an internal rate of return (“IRR”)(1) of approximately 12%; and$34.5 million ($30 million of which was funded at closing) floating-rate, first mortgage loan secured by a newly constructed, Class-A, 63-unit multifamily property located in Brooklyn, New York, which also includes approximately 7,300 square feet of retail space and 31 parking spaces. The first mortgage loan has a five-year initial term with three one-year extension options and an appraised LTV of 63% based upon the initial funding. The future funding is contingent upon the property achieving certain occupancy and cash flow hurdles. ARI financed the loan, and on a levered basis, the loan was underwritten to generate an IRR(1)of approximately 12%.

Commenting on the transactions, Scott Weiner, the Chief Investment Officer of the Company’s Manager, said: “New York City continues to be one of the strongest hospitality markets and this transaction is with a well-capitalized, highly regarded sponsor. In addition, Brooklyn has one of the nation’s highest occupancy rates for rental apartments, and the multifamily property securing ARI’s loan is well positioned in a desirable submarket. As the investment portfolio expands, we believe ARI continues to demonstrate the depth of the Company’s commercial real estate finance platform as well as its ability to structure and execute a broad array of transactions.”

About Apollo Commercial Real Estate Finance, Inc.
Apollo Commercial Real Estate Finance, Inc. (ARI) is a real estate investment trust that primarily originates, invests in, acquires and manages performing commercial first mortgage loans, subordinate financings, CMBS and other commercial real estate-related debt investments. The Company is externally managed and advised by ACREFI Management, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company and an indirect subsidiary of Apollo Global Management, LLC, a leading global alternative investment manager with approximately $159.3 billion of assets under management at March 31, 2014.

(1) The underwritten IRR for the investments listed in this press release reflect the returns underwritten by ACREFI Management, LLC, the Company’s external manager (the “Manager”), calculated on a weighted average basis assuming no dispositions, early prepayments or defaults. With respect to certain loans, the underwritten IRR calculation assumes certain estimates with respect to the timing and magnitude of future fundings for the remaining commitments and associated loan repayments, and assumes no defaults. IRR is the annualized effective compounded return rate that accounts for the time-value of money and represents the rate of return on an investment over a holding period expressed as a percentage of the investment. It is the discount rate that makes the net present value of all cash outflows (the costs of investment) equal to the net present value of cash inflows (returns on investment). It is derived from the negative and positive cash flows resulting from or produced by each transaction (or for a transaction involving more than one investment, cash flows resulting from or produced by each of the investments), whether positive, such as investment returns, or negative, such as transaction expenses or other costs of investment, taking into account the dates on which such cash flows occurred or are expected to occur, and compounding interest accordingly. There can be no assurance that the actual IRRs will equal the underwritten IRRs shown in this press release. See “Item 1A-Risk Factors–The Company may not achieve its underwritten internal rate of return on its investments which may lead to future returns that may be significantly lower than anticipated” included in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2013 for a discussion of some of the factors that could adversely impact the returns received by the Company from the investments shown in the press release over time.

Forward-Looking Statements
Certain statements contained in this press release constitute forward-looking statements as such term is defined in Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and such statements are intended to be covered by the safe harbor provided by the same. Forward-looking statements are subject to substantial risks and uncertainties, many of which are difficult to predict and are generally beyond the Company’s control. These forward-looking statements include information about possible or assumed future results of the Company’s business, financial condition, liquidity, results of operations, plans and objectives. When used in this release, the words believe, expect, anticipate, estimate, plan, continue, intend, should, may or similar expressions, are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Statements regarding the following subjects, among others, may be forward-looking: the return on equity; the yield on investments; the ability to borrow to finance assets; the Company’s ability to deploy the proceeds of its capital raises or acquire its target assets; and risks associated with investing in real estate assets, including changes in business conditions and the general economy. For a further list and description of such risks and uncertainties, see the reports filed by the Company with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The forward-looking statements, and other risks, uncertainties and factors are based on the Company’s beliefs, assumptions and expectations of its future performance, taking into account all information currently available to the Company. Forward-looking statements are not predictions of future events. The Company disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.

FinanceInvestment & Company Informationcommercial real estate Contact:

CONTACT:
Hilary Ginsberg
Investor Relations
(212) 822-0767

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