Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Extended Stay
Here is an article from the Financial Times.  It summarizes Centerbridge's and John Paulson's $4 billion acquisition of the bankrupt hotelier.  Lightstone Group bought Extended Stay in April 2007 for $8 billion, using mostly CMBS debt.  The debt was $4.1 billion of senior debt and $3.3 billion of mezzanine debt.  The Centerbridge deal will repay the senior debt, but wipe out the mezzanine debt, of which taxpayers owned $750 million.  Here is how the CMBS structure complicates deals that go bad:

The Extended Stay bankruptcy offers a rare insight into how securitisation complicates the Chapter 11 process. There were 18 separate classes of commercial mortgage-backed securities worth $4.1bn.  According to documents, 90 per cent of each class would have to approve any agreement - an arrangement that could have delayed a settlement indefinitely.  But the servicer in charge of the trust agreed to an arrangement that allowed pivotal classes of debtholders to control the outcome.
The article does not mention this, but I think these bankruptcy and purchase hinged, in part, on Lightstone's founder, David Lichtenstein, being relieved of approximately $100 million of personal liability in the event of default. 

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