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West Edmonton Mall completes US$600 million first mortgage bond issue

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West Edmonton Mall

On October 17, 2006, West Edmonton Mall Property Inc. completed a $600 million first mortgage bond financing secured by Canada's largest shopping centre, West Edmonton Mall. The ten year financing bears interest at 5.66%, which recognizes both the financial strength of the Mall and the favourable credit rating of its debt. The financing was provided by an affiliate of Column Canada Issuer Corporation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Credit Suisse Group. In order for the first mortgage bond financing to proceed, it was first necessary for an original $335 million of financing secured by the Mall to be defeased. The defeasance was accomplished by providing substitute security for the Mall in the form of a portfolio of Government of Canada obligations. The government obligations were sufficient in amount and yield to fully amortize the original financing. Because the $335 million of financing had been securitized by way of a distribution and sale to the public of co-ownership interests, Midland Loan Services, Inc. acted as loan servicer and it provided all approvals and consents required from the holders of the co-ownership interests in connection with the defeasance. On November 21, 2006, Column Canada Issuer Corporation filed a final short form prospectus whereby it effected a securitization, and distributed and sold to the public co-ownership interests in the $600 million of first mortgage bonds. The securitization raised gross proceeds in excess of $623 million. West Edmonton Mall Property Inc. was represented by Fasken Martineau, with a team that included Jon Levin, Bruce Blain, Bill Bies and Sarah Gingrich in Toronto and Alison Oxtoby in Vancouver.


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