UCC Capital announced that it has secured the financing for and served as M&A advisor to Iconix Brand Group's acquisition of apparel brand MUDD. The proceeds from the MUDD transaction will be added to the revolving master trust created for the securitization of various trademarks, which thus far include Candies, Bongo, Joe Boxer Badgley Mischka, and Rampage. The trust is now worth $133 million after the MUDD deal, and will grow by another $57 million after the planned purchase by Iconix of apparel company Mossimo Inc. UCC CEO Robert D'Loren said that the master trust's credit quality keeps getting better with the addition of different apparel trademarks providing overcollateralization and diversification to the deal. The plan is to make two or three more acquisitions, he said. He added that UCC is working with Iconix on a franchise deal that is expected to happen sometime in the second or third quarter of this year.
Societe Generale Corporate and Investment Banking (SG CIB) in London announced that it has formed an independently managed CLO portfolio management entity called Egret Capital. Thierry de Vergnes will lead the new business. He was previously a managing director at SG CIB in charge of projects and development for leveraged finance activity. In his new role, de Vergnes will be a member of Egret's five-person investment committee, which includes two SG CIB representatives. Also joining Egret are Steve Williams as portfolio manager and member of the investment committee, Alfonso Fernandez-Stuyck as vice president, and Florian Viros as an analyst. Williams was previously at Highland Capital Europe where he managed the Copernicus I and II CLOs, and ramped up the warehoused portfolio for the inaugural Highlander CDO. Fernandez-Stuyck was most recently with SG CIB's leveraged finance department and Viros was previously with BNP Paribas' CLO group. Egret will be based in London, and is expected to employ nine people by the end of 2006.
The Royal Bank of Scotland appointed SandraWong as head of CDO structuring, structured credit and equity products group. Wong, who will report to the head of structured credit and equity products group Vincent Dahinden, joined from Citigroup where she focused on building the firm's European CDO business. Before that, Wong held stints at JPMorgan in London and New York. RBS also hired Thomas Sandberg, who will report to Wong and who was also from Citigroup.
Dominion Bond Rating Service has appointed William Dallman as a senior vice president in its CMBS team. Dallman, who is based in Chicago, will focus on relationship management with CMBS investors and issuers globally. "Bill's experience brings an additional depth of expertise to the team," said Jack Toliver, managing director of global CMBS. "His hire is part of DBRS's strategic goal of continuing to provide the best service and complements our existing levels of market-growing service and experience." Prior to joining DBRS, Dallman was a director for corporate finance at Fitch Ratings. Before this, he had an eight-year stint at Productivity Point International in a similar role.
Paul Mazataud and Detlef Scholz won promotions at Moody's Investors Service, both becoming group managing directors. Scholz, country manager for Moody's business in Germany, will continue in that role. As group managing director, Scholz will oversee the European structured finance non-derivatives group. Scholz, who joined Moody's in 1993, began working on structured finance deals in 1996, covering mortgage-backed securities in New York. As for Mazataud, he will be responsible for Moody's derivatives ratings in Europe, Middle East and Africa, and Moody's structured finance ratings in Asia. Previously, he served as co-head for Moody's derivatives rating group for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. He was also managing director for the rating agency's derivatives team in Paris.
Japanese leasing giant Orix is trying to establish a foothold in China's real estate market by acquiring a 10% stake in the property developer Tian An Investments for $42.8 million. Orix will work with Tian An to invest in new commercial and residential projects, primarily in Beijing and Shanghai, and hopes to raise funds through securitization. The company did not state whether it will tap the Japanese or Chinese market for this exercise.
China Yangtze Power has become the latest power company to declare its interest in securitization. Board members for the Shanghai-listed entity last week approved the issue of a RMB5 billion ($623.4 million) ABS. No details were given on likely timing or the purpose of the offering. Three of Yangtze's rivals; Huaneng Power International, Datang International Power Generation and Huadian Power International have also confirmed securitization plans recently (ASR, 02/02/06).
JPMorgan Trust Bank will be barred from drumming up new business in Japan associated with real estate trusts for six months, from April 12 to Oct. 13. Japan's Financial Services Agency said last week - when it issued the fourth penalty against the bank in a month - that JPMorgan's review of ABS deals it sold, primarily to institutional investors, was lacking. Specifically, that crucial matters regarding underlying real estate assets such as defects, illegality, overvaluation, issues with accounting procedures and validity of the structure's objective and substance, were overlooked, according to an FSA statement.
The boards of the Bond Market Association and the Securities Industry Association are planning to merge the two organizations. Once the boards vote on the arrangement in June, the memberships of both organizations will also vote, and a new organization could be in place by the summer. Officials for both are currently at work designing an organization intended to serve the whole securities industry, including member financial service firms, broker dealers, private clients and institutional investors and asset securitization professionals. "A TBMA-SIA merger would have very little impact on the day-to-day activities of the ASF or its continued representation of all securitization market constituencies comprising our membership, but would establish a larger, stronger and more effective advocacy organization to which ASF is connected," said George Miller, executive director of the American Securitization Forum, a group within the Bond Market Association.
GE Energy Financial Services announced that it is combining and expanding its institutional and middle market commercial debt platforms to better serve debt issuers, intermediaries, ABS and middle market customers. "The new unit incorporates Energy Financial Services' expertise as a debt investor and arranger in large energy projects with its [middle] market commercial energy lending in the [U.S.], Canada and Europe," the firm said in a statement. The change will help the energy division double its debt business to several billion dollars this year, the company added. Energy Financial Services' debt business grew to more than $1.5 billion in investments from 2002 to 2005. "The consolidation of our energy debt origination businesses represents the logical evolution of our debt platform to provide strong product volume for our investor base," said Don Kyle, managing director and leader of the GE capital markets energy team, in the statement.
First Marblehead Corp., which provides student loan outsourcing services, signed a new agreement with Bank of America Corp. to provide BofA certain private student loan services through May 31, 2008, although either party could terminate the deal a year earlier with 90 days' notice. This agreement, which replaces one that is due to expire May 1, grants First Marblehead the exclusive right to securitize loans that BofA markets under its Education Maximizer program. The new contract is said to have squashed investor uncertainty resulting from First Marblehead's shares falling sharply five months ago when BofA indicated that it might not renew its contract with the Boston-based firm.
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