LUMBERYARDS

LP announces fourth amendment to credit agreement

BY Brae Canlen

Louisiana-Pacific Corp. one of the industry’s leading suppliers of oriented strand board and other building materials, has announced a $100 million extension to its revolving credit agreement with its lenders and Bank of America, N.A., as administrative agent.

Among other changes, the fourth amendment:

• Extends the maturity of the revolving loan facility from Sept. 10, 2012, to Oct. 14, 2016;
• Decreases the interest rate payable for certain types of loans;
• Permits LP to include in its borrowing base certain vendor managed inventory that was previously excluded;
• Increases LP’s flexibility to incur and prepay certain debt; and
• Provides that the revolving lenders’ second priority liens on certain assets of LP and its subsidiaries  will be automatically released in connection with the repayment of such other indebtedness.

"We are very pleased with this amendment and the strong support LP has received from our banks," said Mark Tobin, treasurer of the Nashville, Tenn.-based company. "This facility, as amended, provides LP with greater flexibility over a longer term and at attractive pricing. As we continue to navigate through a very difficult housing market, it is important to have the certainty that stable, long-term liquidity lines provide. We believe this to be crucial to our operations and investors as we move forward."

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PulteGroup exec named Mortgage Bankers Association chairman-elect

BY HBSDealer Staff

Bloomfield Hills, Mich.-based PulteGroup has announced that Pulte Mortgage president and CEO Debra Still was named chairman-elect of the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) at its 98th Annual Convention & Expo in Chicago this week. She currently serves as vice chairman of the MBA and will become chairman of the 2012-2013 MBA board.

Still has more than three decades of experience in the mortgage industry. During her time at Pulte Mortgage, she has served as EVP production, a member of the board of directors and corporate secretary, chief operating officer, and her current position as president and CEO.

She previously served as chair of MBA’s Residential Board of Governors and is a member of the association’s board of directors. An MBA member for more than a decade, she also served on the MBA’s Strategic Planning Committee, Loan Origination Task Force, Affordable Housing Committee and Secondary and Capital Markets Committee, and was Chair of the MBA Forward Task Force.

"Deb is a highly regarded and valued member of PulteGroup’s senior management team and a recognized expert in the mortgage industry," said PulteGroup Chairman, president and CEO Richard Dugas Jr. "Given her technical expertise and the high-standards she sets for herself as well as those surrounding her, Deb is well-suited to help guide the MBA and address major issues facing the mortgage industry today."

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KB Home puts “earth first,” receives LEED award

BY HBSDealer Staff

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has honored KB Home’s Primera Terra community with a 2011 LEED for Homes award. The LEED Platinum project, one of the largest in California, was recognized as the best in the Multi-Family category.

Primera Terra, which loosely translates to "earth first,” is made up of 52 luxury condominiums. The homes, equipped with energy- and water-saving features, are at least 40% more energy-efficient than typical new homes, according to KB Home. The estimated heating and cooling costs of the homes in Primera Terra — part of Playa Vista, a pedestrian-friendly master-plan community — are as little as $57 per month in select models.

KB Home achieved a high level of efficiency by focusing on optimizing the building envelope and incorporating such features as a cool roof. Built-in, energy-saving features include tankless water heaters, Energy Star-qualified appliances and lighting, high-efficiency windows and WaterSense labeled faucets and toilets. All homeowners also receive an energy monitoring system, which tracks electricity usage on a daily, weekly or monthly basis, from any computer or Web-enabled mobile device.

"KB Home’s Primera Terra should serve as an example to other builders that completing a LEED Platinum project does not have to mean a significant increase in construction costs," said Nate Kredich, VP residential market development, USGBC. "We commend KB Home for continuing to be an innovator through its commitment to building high-performing, healthy homes that save homeowners money."

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