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Eastern Union Closes Nearly $500M in Debt, Equity Deals

Ira Zlotowitz, president, Eastern Union Funding, Howell Township, NJ Ira Zlotowitz, president, Eastern Union Funding, Howell Township, NJ

HOWELL TOWNSHIP, NJ—Wrapping up a robust month, Eastern Union Funding says this August was its best ever, with 87 deals worth more than $490 million in debt and equity transaction volume.

Ira Zlotowitz, president of Eastern Union, personally worked on more than $150 million of financing transactions. The finance company sees a trend among banks to lower interest rates on deals because of a slow summer, he says.

“We are working hard to earn our clients’ trust every day, and to ensure that they receive a complete array of debt and equity solutions,” Zlotowitz says.

The firm’s internal banking department has been seeing lower rates from banks.

“We feel this reflects an upsurge of interest stemming from bankers looking to fill the pipelines at the end of a slow summer,” says Moshe Maybloom, managing director of the firm’s Quotes and Term Sheets Department.

Devoted to banking relationships and finding new lenders, the QTS department executes the preliminary tasks, as well, including banking, set-ups and write-ups, sourcing, sending out to banks and negotiating, until great term sheets are secured. The QTS department allows Eastern Union brokers to focus their time on originating more deals and pursuing relations with existing clients.

Eastern Union says it’s also finding it easier to close bridge construction loans, which often command high rates. Eastern Union says it is seeing greater interest from bankers in making these loans, and has been closing bridge construction loans aggressively.

Among the deals contributing to Eastern Union’s record month was a large portfolio transaction to refinance 11 multifamily properties located across Southern New Jersey. Zlotowitz and Meir Kessner, senior managing director secured interest rates in the 3.7 percent range for this transaction.

Zlotowitz also arranged an exceptionally low rate for a bridge construction loan, for a seven-story multi-use property in Brooklyn, NY. Due to the general difficulty of receiving high leverage for construction loans in Brooklyn, he says the deal was especially tough. However, he and Kessner succeeded in closing the deal in less than 30 days at 74 percent LTC, Zlotowitz says.

Jake Handlesman, managing director at Eastern Union Funding, also contributed to the monthly record volume by closing an $20 million acquisition deal. To finance a five-story, mixed-use building with more than 150 units, he arranged 80 percent LTV financing (with a 30-year amortization) for this Maryland property.

Eastern Union’s affiliated company, Eastern Equity Advisors, has been helping its equity clients work with Eastern Union on their debt needs.

In a recent instance of the debt and equity teams working hand in hand to achieve the client’s goals, Handlesman of Eastern Union arranged the debt for the Maryland transaction, while Yitzy Halon, vice president, and Marc Belsky, principal, sourced $3.4 million in equity for the investment. The client and investor struck up a very positive relationship and hope to continue to work on future deals together.

“Working with Eastern Union, we are able to help their debt clients with equity while we can refer our clients to Eastern Union for debt funding,” says Halon. “It’s a relationship that enables us to help clients in all aspects of their capital stack together, giving us a distinct advantage in the market.”

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