Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Even the most beautiful places on earth have money problems. If you are forced to watch TV commercials you see the beautiful Atlantis resort offering everything free from food to additional people stays to lure people to the resort. Why? Because the sprawling resort in the Bahamas is nearly $3 billion in debt. They need money and they need it quickly. Do we all have mortgage problems?
Atlantis on Paradise Beach is one of the world’s largest resorts. Its 3,500 rooms are spread among several towers around a 34-acre “marine habitat” that includes a seven acre lagoon. It also includes a casino, restaurants and shops. Best of all, all visitors are allowed to freely enjoy most areas of this beautiful place.
The owner Kerzner International Resorts Inc. has mortgages split into two groups. First is a $1.3 billion securitized mortgage. Junior to that mortgage in seniority is the roughly $1.3 billion of mezzanine debt held by an investment firm Centerbridge, MetLife and several others. The separate, $400 million debt has a partial interest in the Atlantis resort in Dubai. And you thought you had mortgage problems.
Pledged as collateral for the mortgages are the Atlantis in the Bahamas, apartial interest in Kerzner’s One & Only resort in Los Cabos, Mexico, and 76 acres of undeveloped land near Atlantis. Every time you visit, you are urged to invest in a home of your own there. Analysts anticipate that Kerzner can’t refinance the loans for the full $2.6 billion because the collateral’s value now is less than that amount.
If the properties sold at their current value, the proceeds would barely be enough to cover the securitized mortgage, and the mezzanine debt would likely be largely wiped out. A restructuring of thr loan could involve any of the owners or lenders contributing additional capital to pay down the mortgage and extend it, or a sale of the properties. The special servicer overseeing the mortgages has the option to extend them for up to two years if it decides that it is best for all lenders.
We all hope these beautiful properties can succeed and will not fall into the same mortgage problems that are facing people all over the world. Can Paradise be saved?

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