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Indian Head All Over Again for the Ginn Co.? I Hope Not!

Aug 6, 2008
Real Estate is going through some of its most difficult times in 30 years. Financing is becoming almost impossible, even for Bobby Ginn.

Bobby Ginn quotes that:

* Over the past year, we have offered several different buyer incentives for the Villas at Reunion Square in an effort to protect property values, close out the project, and continue with my original vision. We have had some success with these incentives, but, due to the downturn in the real estate market, some prices have fallen even below the incentives that we have offered.

* It is for these reasons that we've made the decision to lower the purchase price on a number of developer-owned units at the Villas. We hope that by offering these units, and the amenities and Ginn One Club membership that will accompany them, at prices more in line with the current market, we will be able to stay the course and complete the vision for Reunion.

I am one of Reunion Resorts biggest supporters and believe things will eventually turn around, and issues like below should be addressed and not just blame the bad market and sales that were cancelled.

On July 1st it was reported that Ginn Clubs & Resorts missed principal and interest payments yesterday on its first- and second-lien debt, sources said.

Interest payments are subject to a three-day grace period, but there's no grace on the principal, sources noted. Lenders have agreed to forebear from exercising remedies for 30 days, but haven't waived the default. Ginn's loans are in the Standard & Poor's/LSTA Index.

As part of the forbearance agreement, Lubert-Adler is kicking in $5 million of equity that will be used for operations, according to market sources. It will not be used to make payments on the Credit Suisse-led loans.

The company has already been in active talks with lenders regarding a restructuring of the company's $675 million credit facility. Those negotiations are ongoing, sources added.

Ginn's first-lien debt is quoted at 45/50 this morning, with the second-lien at 10/20, sources said. There was a small trade in the first-lien last week near 50 and the paper has been quoted at 47.5/52.5 since then. The second-lien loan was not active, quoted at 17.5/22.5 last week, down from 35/45 in early June.

The loans back the development of five communities by the Celebration, Fla.-based company. The properties are Tesoro, a mature community in Port St Lucie, Fla.; Quail West, a mature community in Naples, Fla.; Hammock Beach River Club in Palm Coast, Fla.; and the Laurelmor and Grand Bahamas projects, both of which include golf courses and single-family and condominium homes.

Than President Robert Gidel released this statement:

Today, Standard & Poor's will release a statement that indicates two Ginn affiliated companies, Ginn-LA CS Borrower, LLC and Ginn-LA Conduit Lender, Inc. did not make a principal and interest payment on a non-recourse $675 million credit facility led by Credit Suisse. It will also state that we have reached a 30-day forbearance agreement and are actively negotiating with our lenders.

There are four communities involved in this credit facility:

* Ginn-LA St. Lucie, Ltd., LLLP, which owns Tesoro
* Ginn-LA Quail West, Ltd., LLLP, which owns Quail West
* Ginn-LA Laurel Creek, Ltd., LLLP, which owns Laurelmor
* Ginn-LA West End Limited, which owns Ginn sur Mer

Due to the ongoing slowdown in the residential real estate market, it became clear that it would not be possible to meet the homesite sales objectives necessary to make payments due under the credit facility.

We have been discussing these issues with the lenders for the purpose of seeking ways to restructure the terms of the credit facility. Today's announcement of the forbearance provides an environment for both us as borrowers and the lenders to continue to work toward a restructuring of the credit facility, which we believe will occur in the next 30 days and will permit each of the communities to be completed as planned.

Even though sales throughout our industry have been lagging, nearly all development work has been completed at Tesoro and Quail West. While there is work left to do at Laurelmor, we have commenced work on much of the infrastructure, including the paving of miles of roadway and substantially completing the delivery of water and electric to the homesites.

Ginn-LA West End Limited previously set up accounts which contain the funds necessary to complete the infrastructure and the initial 18-hole golf course at Ginn sur Mer. These funds are not subject to the credit facility and are unaffected by the current situation, which means there will be no disruption to the continued development of the Ginn sur Mer project or the operations and development of Old Bahama Bay. The properties that are owned by Ginn-LA OBB, including the resort core of the Ginn sur Mer project, are not subject to this or any other credit facility.

The Credit Suisse-led credit facility only affects these four communities. All of our other communities, including Reunion Resort & Club, Hammock Beach, the Conservatory, Bella Collina, Old Bahama Bay, Tesoro Preserve and Cobblestone Park, are separately funded and will maintain operations in accordance with business demands.

This situation has no impact on our ongoing business operations throughout the company. In fact, we are creating new initiatives to create better experiences for our Members as we speak. We recently announced the formation of the Ginn One Club, which will provide reciprocity to our Members at select Clubs and Resorts throughout our portfolio.

In addition, we are finalizing plans to complete amenities at our Clubs and Resorts including an expansion of the Waterpark at Reunion Resort & Club which will feature a Members-only area, expanding our pool and food and beverage venues at the South Tower Plaza at Hammock Beach, completing the lobby area and tennis pro shop at Yacht Harbor Village, completing the Social and Equestrian center at Bella Collina and finishing the Clubhouse at Cobblestone Park, among other projects.

These important and significant issues effect The Ginn Company and its Name, and I believe we should have been notified before the media notified us. Issues were raised in the last live meeting held by CEO Bobby Ginn at his last live meeting that to please tell us the news whether good or bad, and keep the communication lines open so that everyone is on the same page. I think some of the news of missing payments and some of the restructuring that is going on should have been mentioned in today's release.
About the Author
F. Lanni is a Top Producing Realtor in The Million Dollar Club orlandoreunionresorthomes.com blog
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