Choice Hotels Announces New Endorsed Lenders

Silver Spring, MD (February 15, 2000) - Choice Hotels International (NYSE:CHH) announced it has endorsed three experienced financial institutions to finance development for its Comfort, Quality, Clarion, Sleep Inn, Rodeway, Econo Lodge and MainStay Suites brand franchisees.

Allied Capital Corporation, CIT Small Business Lending (formerly Newcourt Financial) and Commercial Capital Corporation were endorsed by Choice to offer financing to its franchisees.  All three participated in Choice`s “Lender Summit” this past summer during which a number of financial institutions were invited to Choice`s corporate headquarters.  They were briefed by Choice senior executives and subsequently offered the opportunity to partner with Choice.

“Of the institutions that participated in the Summit, these three offered the widest, most competitive and most complementary array of financial services to our franchisees,” said Daniel Rothfeld, vice president, partner services at Choice.  “By virtue of their presentations, followed by a great deal of due diligence on our part, these institutions were selected as endorsed lenders.”

The addition of three new institutions gives Choice franchisees five lenders from which they can obtain construction, acquisition, renovation, refinancing through conventional and government-guaranteed loan programs and FF&E lease financing.  “It was important for us to build effective working relationships with lenders that know hospitality and also our market segment,” said Joe Squeri, chief financial officer and treasurer.  “We not only looked at the competitiveness of their loan products and services, but also their financial ability to deliver those products.  In addition, we assessed each company`s experience with, and commitment to, the hospitality industry.”

GMAC Commercial Mortgage and ORIX Credit Alliance, Inc. round out Choice`s endorsed lending group.  Both were already on board to provide large ticket and small ticket leasing, respectively.


Financial services and terms outlined by Choice`s endorsed lenders are as follows:
Allied Capital Corporation offers long-term, fixed-asset financing for construction, acquisition, turnarounds, renovations and refinancing, primarily through various government-guaranteed loan programs.  A Preferred Lender with the SBA, Allied Capital can provide financing up to $3 million at extended terms, competitive loan-to-value ratios, and achievable debt coverage levels.
CIT Small Business Lending, a unit of the CIT Group (NYSE:CIT), specializes in SBA guaranteed loans at up to $3 million based on loan-to-value ratios that typically exceed conventional lending guidelines.  CIT distinguishes itself by financing soft, as well as hard assets, at extended loan terms that enhance the prospect for full repayment.
Commercial Capital Corporation is a non-bank SBA preferred lender providing SBA long-term loans in amounts from $250,000 to $4 million for new construction or acquisition and improvements.

GMAC Commercial Mortgage.  GMACCM`s Equipment Finance Group offers financing options for the acquisition of furniture, fixtures and critical equipment for existing properties and new developments.  The group will consider projections of future cash flows in underwriting and will finance projects up to an overall 80% loan to value, including primary debt.  GMACCM can accommodate lease amounts up to $10 million with no application or origination fees on Choice brands.
ORIX Credit Alliance, Inc. specializes in fast, friendly equipment financing on transactions ranging between $2,500 and $250,000.  With more than 36 years of industry experience and assets exceeding $50 billion, ORIX has the financial strength to provide Choice customers with competitive rates and flexible payment programs.  An active member of AAHOA and AH&MA, ORIX began serving the lodging industry about 10 years ago.

Franchisees interested in obtaining more information on Choice`s endorsed lender program should contact Marie Longo at (301) 592-6338 or via e-mail at [email protected]; for information on the lending parameters of the endorsed lenders, contact Robert Craft at (301) 592-5103 or by e-mail at [email protected]

Choice Hotels International (NYSE:CHH) is the world`s second largest lodging franchisor.  Choice franchises almost 5000 hotels open or under development in 37 countries under the brand names Comfort, Quality, Clarion, Sleep Inn, Econo Lodge, Rodeway Inn and MainStay Suites.  All brands are registered trademarks and service marks of Choice Hotels International Inc.