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CNL refinances $1.5 bn loan

CNL Hotels & Resorts is closing a new $1.525 billion five-year CMBS loan.The loan includes
$1.0 billion financed at a fixed rate of 5.57 percent and $525 million
financed at a floating rate of 30-day LIBOR plus 272 basis points.
  Loan proceeds were used to refinance the company’s existing $1.5 billion
CMBS loan and to pay expenses associated with both the early retirement of the
existing loan and the closing of the new loan.
  “Over the last 12 months, we have been actively managing our balance sheet
and overall capital structure,” stated C. Brian Strickland, executive vice
president, chief financial officer and treasurer. He adds, “This refinancing represents
our latest move to capitalize on the underlying value of five of our premium
properties and lock in very attractive interest rates on a significant portion
of our long-term debt. This loan achieved a number of financial objectives
including the reduction of the blended interest rate from the existing CMBS
loan by 145 basis points and the extension of the loan maturity. We are also
pleased that the transaction significantly enhances our fixed to floating debt
mix, reducing our floating interest rate exposure.”