Starwood Property Trust to Acquire Energy Project Finance Debt Business from GE Capital
Starwood Property Trust, Inc. (the "Company") announced that the Company has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire GE Capital's Energy Financial Services' Project Finance Debt Business ("Energy Project Finance Debt Business") and loan portfolio (the "Loan Portfolio") for $2.56 billion, including $400 million of unfunded loan commitments.
"The acquired business will leverage the extensive experience of the Company's affiliate, Starwood Energy Group, which specializes in comparable energy infrastructure equity investments and has executed transactions with approximately $7 billion in asset value since its inception in 2005," the company said
"GE's Energy Project Finance Debt Business includes a vertically integrated platform with a seasoned leadership team and 21 full-time employees across loan origination, underwriting, capital markets and asset management. The Loan Portfolio consists of 51 senior loans secured by energy infrastructure real assets," the company said
Starwood Property Trust expects the combination to benefit the Company in several key areas:
• Compelling Risk Adjusted Returns with Strong Credit Profile: Senior secured energy project finance loans, collateralized by real assets and largely backed by long-term purchase contracts with investment grade counterparties, offer compelling risk adjusted returns
• Attractive Portfolio Characteristics:
--- Acquired loan portfolio is 97% floating-rate, making it positively correlated to rising interest rates
--- Initial portfolio duration of over four years, coupled with new loan origination duration of over five years, will extend the Company's portfolio duration
--- Low correlation of energy project finance to commercial real estate sector improves overall portfolio diversification
• Established, Full Service Origination Platform: Comprehensive platform consisting of 21 seasoned employees including existing leadership team and expertise across loan origination, underwriting, capital markets and asset management
• Leverages Existing Expertise at Starwood Energy Group: Complements Starwood Energy Group's platform, which specializes in energy infrastructure equity investments and has a history of over $7 billion of successful transaction since its inception in 2005
• Highly Scalable Opportunity: Positions the Company in the large and growing energy project finance market and provides for additional capital deployment opportunities
• Leading Global Diversified Finance Company: Expands the Company's position as a leading global finance company with compelling capital deployment opportunities across multiple asset classes and its ability to maintain an attractive return profile throughout varying market conditions
The Company anticipates the transaction will be accretive to core earnings. The Company expects to finance the transaction with a new secured term loan facility from MUFG with an initial advance of approximately $1.7 billion and committed capacity for future funding obligations in the Loan Portfolio. The Company has ample available liquidity in addition to a $600 million committed acquisition facility from Credit Suisse and Citigroup Global Markets Inc. to fund the balance of the purchase price, the company said
The completion of the acquisition is subject to the satisfaction of a number of customary conditions and is expected to close in the third quarter of 2018.