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JENKINTOWN, PA-American Financial Realty Trust obtained $180 million in refinancing on a 13-property portfolio it acquired from Troy, MI-based Dana Commercial Credit in 2003. The lender is Boston-based Babson Capital Management LLC, which placed it on behalf of its parent, Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co.

The refinancing extends the term of the original mortgage from approximately five years to 12 and increases the $162-million balance on that mortgage to $180 million. The new funding is at a fixed rate of 5.61%. In addition to reducing the locally based financial specialty REIT’s exposure to higher interest rates, the new funding represents a savings of $20.5 million over the amortization requirements of the previous mortgage, according to Dave Nettina, CFO. AFR incurred no penalty for early retirement of the previous loan.

The new loan is collateralized by the portfolio, which contains approximately 3.7 million sf in the Southeastern US and Washington DC, occupied primarily by Bank of America. The funding is equal to 50% of the appraised value of the portfolio, Nettina tells GlobeSt.com.

This is Babson’s first transaction with AFR. John Doan, managing director and head of the company’s real estate finance group in Washington DC, handled the transaction, which was arranged by Whitney Wilcox, executive managing director of the New York City office of Holliday Fenoglio and Fowler.

This financing extends AFR’s overall average length of debt from 11.5 years to 11.9 years, according to Nettina. He says the transaction is consistent with the company’s strategy of match-funding its long-term leases with long-term fixed-rate debt. “Exclusive of the company’s short-term debt related to a pooling of assets for a (loan) securitization to be executed in second-quarter 2006,” he says, “the average term of (AFR’s) long-term rate debt is 12.4 years.”

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