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Mezzanine Finance Preferred Equity

Mezzanine finance and preferred equity for property developers
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Mezzanine finance and preferred equity are ways to increase a property developer’s borrowing potential, beyond the limitations of traditional construction finance facilities.

Mezzanine finance is a form of subordinated debt, behind senior debt in terms of ranking on any claim on property assets and ahead of equity, generally secured by a second mortgage. This debt fills the funding gap between the property developer’s equity and the amount of the senior facility available. Preferred Equity works in a similar way to mezzanine finance, but no second mortgage is placed on the property to be developed.

Development project risk is illustrated in this diagram:

Graph Mezzanine Finance_Global Capital Commercial

Standard Project Time Line:

1. Land is identified

2. Development Plan and Marketing Plan are conceptualised

3. Land is secured (either purchased or optioned)

4. Development proposal is prepared (architectural plans etc)

5. Proposal is submitted to relevant authority for approval

6. Marketing Plan is initiated (i.e. presales begin)

7. Development is approved

8. The Construction Facility is put in place

9. Construction commences

10. Construction completed

11. Project is sold

“Experienced and financially savvy developers are interested in mezzanine finance or preferred equity as it provides a wealth of benefits. Let GCC help you navigate them for better results.”

  • It gives the developer the power to determine the level of equity (if any) they wish to contribute to a project
  • It is generally cheaper than equity– and provides a higher rate of return on equity
  • The borrower can use their equity elsewhere, effectively diversifying risk
  • The property developer can continue with the project on a ‘standalone’ basis
  • Control is retained by the developer, not Joint Venture partners
  • Mezzanine finance is passive provided the project is performing to expectations
  • It can be raised relatively quickly as opposed to equity

An example and the potential benefits:

  • End Value (GRV):  $13M
  • Land Value:  $5M
  • Construction Costs:  $5M
  • Total Costs (excl. interest):  $10M
  • Development Period:  12
  • Senior Facility Interest Rate:  8% pa
  • Mezzanine Debt Facility Interest Rate:  20% pa

Note: that rates and figures are for illustrative purposes only.

Project Structure Comparison

Traditional
Senior Debt
Senior and Mezzanine
Debt Facility
Sales
$13,000,000
$13,000,000
Construction Costs
$10,000,000
$10,000,000
Senior Facility
$8,000,000
$8,000,000
Mezzanine Debt Facility
$0
$1,000,000
Equity Contribution
$2,000,000
$1,000,000
Interest Expense – Senior
$500,000
$500,000
Interest Expense – Mez
$0
$200,000
Total Interest Expense
$500,000
$700,000
Total Costs
$10,500,000
$10,700,000
Profit
$2,500,000
$2,300,000
Profit % of Costs
24%
22%
Profit % of Equity
125%
230%

 

Project Structure Comparison

As illustrated above, by using mezzanine loans the property developer’s profit reduces by $200,000 in this example, from 24% to 22%. However, their development profit as a percentage of equity almost doubles, from 125% to 230%. Based on the above, if a property developer had $2,000,000 equity, they could opt for either:

  • A traditional structure, and make $2,500,000 profit, as that is all the equity available
  • Undertake two projects as above and contribute $1M each and achieve $4.7M profit

Clearly there are benefits to the developer of freeing up equity and GCC can help developers work through the requirements of this process.

Mezzanine finance lenders (investors) also gain
considerable benefits from this type of investment:

  • Fixed term investment
  • Investment is secured by property
  • Only projects which are ready to begin immediate construction are eligible
  • Projects must have pre-sales or pre-leases in place, which are fully verified by GCC
  • Property developers capacity, capability and track record are fully scrutinised by GCC

Related Case Studies

Mezzanine Debt & Preferred Equity

If you want to understand how mezzanine finance and preferred equity can fit into a financial plan or how will it help to achieve financial goals, contact us today.

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