Capping off a week-long trend among retail REITs, Simon Property Group Inc., the country’s largest regional mall owner, entered into a new $4 billion unsecured revolving credit facility on Wednesday. The facility will offer Simon favorable terms, including a money market competitive bid option program that will allow the company to hold auctions for lowest pricing on short-term loans.
Simon’s existing unsecured revolving credit facility was due to mature on March 3, 2013.
The new facility is scheduled to mature on Oct. 30, 2015. It comes with a one-year extension option and can be increased to $5 billion. The base interest rate on the facility is LIBOR plus 100 basis points. In addition, the facility includes a $2 billion multi-currency tranche for Euro, Yen, Sterling and Canadian Dollar borrowings.
Even though Simon still had some time left before facing maturity on its existing facility, the favorable financing environment and low interest rates probably played a role in the company’s decision to renew early, according to Rich Moore, a REIT analyst with RBC Capital Markets.
“There was very strong lender demand in our new credit facility, with commitments received from 33 financial institutions aggregating over $5 billion,” said Simon Chairman and CEO David Simon in a statement. “This expanded credit facility size, at a significantly lower pricing grid and a new maturity term of up to five years further enhances our already strong financial flexibility.”
JPMorgan Chase and America Merrill Lynch arranged the facility and served as joint bookrunners on the transaction. Royal Bank of Scotland and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. served as joint lead arrangers and co-syndication agents. Barclays, Citibank, Compass, Credit Suisse, Deutsche, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, PNC, SunTrust, Royal Bank of Canada, UBS and U.S. Bank were co-documentation agents. Fifth Third, Regions, The Bank of Nova Scotia and Union Bank served as senior managing agents. The transaction also involved 13 other co-lenders.