Daily News: February 5, 2014

BofA Merrill Leads Snoqualmie Tribe Refinancing

The Snoqualmie Indian Tribe announced it has finalized a refinancing transaction with the closing of a new 5-year $310 million credit facility. The new facility consists of a revolving credit facility and a term loan A facility and was led by Bank of America Merrill Lynch. CIT, Key Bank and Capital One served as joint lead arrangers.

Proceeds from the new credit facility together with excess cash will be used to refinance all of the existing debt at the Tribe’s Snoqualmie Casino.

The Tribe said Bank of America led a syndicate of national and regional banks in completing the transaction, including KeyBank, CIT, Capital One, PNC Bank, U.S. Bank, Comerica, BBVA Compass, Columbia Bank and One West Bank. The credit facility was well received with commitments well in excess of the amount needed for the refinancing.

The Tribe will enjoy significant benefits as a result of the completed transaction including lower interest rates, increased cash distributions to the Tribal government for use in providing greater levels of governmental services and benefits to tribal members, and a more flexible financial covenant and debt repayment schedule. The new transaction also includes an accordion feature for additional borrowing during the credit facility term, should the Tribe decide to pursue capital improvements or expansion at the casino.

“We wanted to refinance in the most responsible manner possible to ensure both the best interest rates and to reduce our debt,” said Carolyn Lubenau, Snoqualmie Tribal Council Chairwoman. “This transaction allowed us to secure a financing that met all of our goals in seeking a refinancing. Working with our advisors and the banks, the Tribe has secured a brighter future for the Snoqualmie people with this refinance.”

Kilpatrick Townsend, an international law firm that is committed to serving the needs of Tribal governments and their communities, provided legal counsel for the Tribe. Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP served as lenders’ legal counsel.

Sovereign Finance, a 100% Native American-owned firm that provides financial and investment advisory services exclusively for Native American governments, acted as the Tribe’s financial advisor.