Daily News: March 13, 2012

CIT Arranges $66 Million for the Pauma Band of Luiseno Indians


CIT Group Inc. announced that CIT Communications, Media & Entertainment served as joint lead arranger, joint book manager and syndication agent in a $66 million senior secured credit facility to the Pauma Band of Luiseno Indians, one of seven Bands of Luiseno people located in San Diego and Riverside counties. The financing was provided by CIT Bank, a wholly owned subsidiary of CIT, and will support the renovation of the Casino Pauma, located in San Diego and will also be used to restructure existing bank debt. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“These funds will allow for the renovation of the Casino Pauma, which employs 500 individuals in the greater San Diego community,” said Steve Epperly, senior director of Gaming Finance & Advisory for CIT. “We look forward to developing our relationship with the Pauma Band as they continue to grow Casino Pauma.”

Randall Majel, Pauma Tribal chairman, said, “We view this financing as a great opportunity to enhance the environment for our casino and restaurant customers, attract new patrons, all while achieving our goal of reducing debt. Going forward we believe this financing is a big and critical step to improve the lives of our people, our employees and it puts the tribe and casino in an excellent position for growth as the economy continues to recover.”

Verrin Kewenvoyouma, of Kewenvoyouma Law, PLLC, who serves as the tribe’s legal counsel, said, “CIT was selected based on their deep industry knowledge and their successful track record of supporting the gaming sector. This project is the result of a team effort, resulting in refinanced debt on better terms and money for a long needed refurbishment project.”

The Pauma Band of Luiseno Indians strives to preserve and strengthen tribal sovereignty and self-determination through the promotion, protection and advancement of the cultural, political and economic well being of the Pauma people. The Pauma Band of Luiseno Indians and their ancestors have lived in the Pauma Valley and surrounding area since time immemorial. The Pauma Band is one of seven Bands of Luiseno people located in San Diego and Riverside counties.

The Band opened Casino Pauma in May 2001, providing employment to Tribal Members and individuals in surrounding communities.