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ROCKVILLE, MD-Commercial mortgage company Criimi Mae Inc. continues to make strides toward financial recovery, having recently completed due diligence on an investment endeavor by a Brascan Real Estate Financial Partners affiliate. Brascan revealed its impending investment to recapitalize and refinance Criimi Mae last month.

In addition to Brascan acquiring 10% of the company’s outstanding stock shares and as much as $40 million in debt, it has also put together a package in which Bear, Stearns & Co. Inc. will provide Criimi Mae with up to $300 million in financing. The three-year financing deal is secured by Criimi Mae’s $1.3 billion CMBS portfolio.

All together, Criimi Mae is expected to see combined proceeds as high $353 million, all of which will go toward refinancing and retiring the organization’s debt, which is related to Criimi Mae’s April 2001 emergence from Chapter 11. Along with its financial assistance, Brascan will provide guidance. The investment arrangement allows Brascan to bring in new higher ups, including a new CEO. “This transaction combines two ingredients–financial strength and dynamic new leadership–that will allow Criimi Mae to maximize shareholder value,” current Criimi Mae chairman William B. Dockser says in a statement. “With Brascan’s investment and Barry Blattman’s leadership experience and knowledge of the CMBS market, we are very excited about Criimi Mae’s ability to take advantage of the many opportunities in the commercial real estate debt market.”

Both the Brascan and Bear Stearns arrangements are on target to close next month. Speaking to GlobeSt.com, a Criimi Mae spokesperson says, “these are two important steps towards the expected closing in January.”

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