Some of the multifamily industry’s largest lenders, including Washington Mutual, Wachovia, and Column Financial, have fallen from grace in the past year. And the next shoe to drop may be one of the biggest: Capmark Financial Group, the No. 1 Freddie Mac and FHA lender in 2008 and fourth-largest overall multifamily lender, has been teetering on the verge of bankruptcy for much of this year.
The troubled Horsham, Pa.-based lender posted a $1.1 billion loss in the fourth quarter of 2008 and said in an accompanying statement that a bankruptcy filing may be imminent. At issue is a large volume of corporate debt—both a bridge loan and senior credit facility—which was to mature today (May 8, 2009).
But late today, the company issued a statement saying that it was able to secure a new term loan facility of up to $1.5 billion and would use the proceeds to refinance a portion of its debt. The company was also able to extend its bridge debt maturity date to May 21.
So for now, the company seems to be alive to fight another day. Capmark was open for business and making loans, according to a statement made today by a company spokesperson. If Capmark does eventually file for bankruptcy, it would be a sharp demise for the firm, which put out more than $6 billion in debt in 2008.
Despite the stemming of the bankruptcy tides, the exodus from Capmark seems to have already begun. A team of seven former Capmark employees in Seattle—three originators and a four-person support staff—recently left the company to open a regional office for Northmarq Capital. But they won’t have to go far: Northmarq took over the office space that Capmark was using in Seattle. The office is Northmarq’s first presence in the Pacific Northwest.