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Washington, DC REIT Closes $100M Loan in Biggest Deal Since Wall Street Meltdown

(WASHINGTON, DC) - In the largest loan deal since Wall Street's meltdown three weeks ago, a low-key REIT, DuPont Fabros Technology Inc., has closed on a $100 million secured loan with a syndicate of lenders led by Cleveland, OH-based KeyBank.

DuPont-Fabros-Technologoy-ACC4-data-center,ashburn,-va.jpgReal Estate Channel research has found no comparable matching transaction over the last three weeks.

Hossein Fateh.JPG

Hossein Fateh

The loan is noteworthy not only for its size but for its creative concept, according to Hossein Fateh, president and CEO of DuPont Fabros Technology.

Fateh says the loan includes an accordion feature that allows new lenders to join the existing bank syndicate to increase the amount of the loan up to $250 million over the next 18 months.

The loan has a three-year term with a one-year extension at a floating rate of LIBOR plus 3.50% (4.0% in the extension period) and includes quarterly principal payments of $500,000.

The loan is secured by the company's newly constructed ACC4 prototype data center asset in Ashburn, VA, which is currently 87.5% leased.  

Proceeds from the new loan will be used to fund the projects under development. The company has no debt maturities due until December 2010, assuming DuPont Fabros is able to exercise one-year extension options. Those options would be  subject to financial covenants which would be required to be met, says the REIT's CEO.

"We are very pleased to have secured this loan in a very difficult credit environment when capital is simply not readily available," says Fateh. "While the financing is less than the planned $300 to $400 million, it is an accomplishment, considering the times.

"We are actively seeking other lenders for the syndicate. In addition, we are negotiating mezzanine financing on ACC4 and exploring other financing alternatives to obtain the shortfall in the originally planned $300 to $400 million. While no assurances can be made, our goal is to obtain additional proceeds before year-end."

In August, the company started construction on a $270 million wholesale data center in Santa Clara, CA, based on the expectation of higher loan proceeds from ACC4.  But due to the low level of loan proceeds obtained, development at the Santa Clara site has been temporarily suspended, Fateh says.

Development of ACC5 in Ashburn, VA and NJ1 in Piscataway, NJ, however, are progressing. The company expects to complete both developments as planned, assuming additional loan proceeds are obtained.
 
The REIT recently signed two leases totaling about 1.0 megawatts of critical load and comprising 5,480 of raised square feet. The first lease, signed in September 2008, is for 0.6 megawatts of critical load in ACC4. 

The second lease, completed in October 2008, is for 0.4 megawatts of critical load in the company's CH1 facility located in Elk Grove Village, IL. The tenants for both leases are Internet companies that have not previously leased space from the REIT.

DuPont Fabros Technology is a New York Stock Exchange-traded real estate investment trust  and leading owner, developer, operator and manager of wholesale data centers.

The company's data centers are highly specialized, secure facilities used primarily by national and international technology companies to house, power and cool the computer servers that support many of their most critical business processes.
 
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