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PARAMUS, NJ-Metro Funding Corp., a local asset-based commercial real estate lender, has closed on a $50-million secured credit facility with WestLB. Company officials say the credit facility will be used to grow its current lending business while providing a more attractive cost of capital.

“This is a big step in our growth process,” says David Hecht, MFC’s president and CEO. “We will continue to expand our US presence and provide service at a more competitive price.”

The three-year revolving credit facility by WestLB, a Germany-based banking institution with offices in New York, represents a securitization of short-term mortgage loans originated by MFC in the US. “Our experience as a commercial real estate lender helped Metro Funding achieve its funding goals for future growth initiatives,” says Jon Hellbusch, a director in WestLB’s asset securitization group. Falconbridge Capital Markets was MFC’s advisor and placement agent for the transaction.

Unrelated to the credit facility, MFC has also launched a conventional lending department, aimed at providing current borrowers with an option to refinance once stabilization is achieved.

“We began to see a trend in the market where borrowers completed the necessary steps to stabilize their properties and were now bankable, seeking a refinance,” says Jennifer Smith, MFC’s senior underwriter. “Instead of sending them to their local bank, we will refinance the borrower via our conventional arm.”

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