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JACKSON, MS-The New Year has brought new financing to EastGroup Properties Inc. The REIT has obtained a four-year, $200-million unsecured revolving credit facility, and, in a separate transaction, applied for a $78-million, non-recourse, first-mortgage loan.

The credit facility was arranged through PNC Capital Markets LLC in Pittsburgh. It carries an interest rate of Libor plus 0.70%, or 5.27%, with a 0.20% annual facility fee.

The regional and national banks involved are Regions Financial Corp. in Birmingham, AL, Atlanta-based SunTrust Banks Inc., Wells Fargo & Co. of San Francisco, US Bank in New York City, Trustmark Corp. in Jackson, MS and Charlotte, NC-headquartered Bank of America Corp.

EastGroup’s capital move replaces its expiring three-year, $175-million credit facility. It also can be expanded by $100 million. The deal matures in January 2012, but does include a one-year option extension.

“We are pleased with the quality and depth of our bank group and by the level of loan commitments, which resulted in the facility being oversubscribed,” David J. Hoster II, president and CEO of the Jackson, MS-based EastGroup, says in a press release. “With this new facility, we improved our interest spread by 25 basis points as well as improving many other terms from our previous credit line.”

The $78-million loan application is expected to close in March. It is collateralized by 1.6 million sf. The financing, if it passes muster, carries a 5.5% fixed-rate interest for a seven-year term and 20-year amortization. According to the release, EastGroup will use the funds to reduce variable-rate bank debt.

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