Access Point Financial has closed on a senior secured credit facility with Wells Fargo Capital Finance, part of Wells Fargo & Co. Stone Point Capital, a Greenwich, Conn. PE firm, has also made a “substantial” equity investment in Access Point, according to a statement. Access Point, formed by APF management and Stone Point, is a lender and advisory company focused on the hospitality industry.
Officials with Access Point Financial, Inc., a full-service lending and advisory company focused on the hospitality industry, today announced that they have closed on a senior secured credit facility with Wells Fargo Capital Finance, part of Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC). The facility, combined with a substantial equity investment in Access Point by Stone Point Capital, LLC, puts the company on track to place $1 billion in loans for hotel improvement/bridge financing by 2015, in line with its initial projections.
“We are pleased to have established a relationship with Access Point Financial,” said Andrea Petro, division manager of the Lender Finance division of Wells Fargo Capital Finance. “We look forward to supporting Jon Wright and his company’s senior management team in its plans for the successful growth of their business.”
“We are in the early stages of seeing meaningful debt funding return to the hotel industry,” said Jon S. Wright, president and CEO of Access Point. “At this stage of the rebound, only the most experienced lenders and hoteliers are active, and we applaud Wells Fargo for its continued leadership in the hotel industry. This infusion from Wells Fargo Capital Finance, along with continued improvements in the hotel economy, will help us accelerate and facilitate the much needed flow of capital to the hotel industry. This credit facility will allow us to further execute our growth plans and achieve our initial target of placing $1 billion in loans in our first three years.”
Access Point is a direct lender providing loans starting from $200,000 for CapEx up to $40 million for brand sponsored construction programs. Hotels that are executing renovation programs also can combine low-leveraged first mortgages with Access Point’s capital expenditure financing.
“We have helped our clients through every economic cycle since the savings and loan crisis of the 1990s, and that industry perspective is one of the most important things we bring to our clients,” Wright said. “Most senior hotel debt today is locked up in CMBS loans, and new debt remains difficult to obtain. Because we understand the industry and have the backing of Wells Fargo, one of the nation’s largest banks, we can help hoteliers tap into their liquidity and improve their properties, with rates and terms that reflect the value of their assets and the owner’s credit worthiness.”
In addition to sourcing new funding, Access Point recently was awarded Platinum status by the IHG Owners Association, and was appointed as an Associate Member of the Association of Starwood Franchisees and Owners North America (ASFONA) with Jon Wright serving as an Honorary Board Member.
“IHG owners continue to invest in upgrading and repositioning their brands,” said Eva Ferguson, president of IHG Owners Association. “Having a strong relationship with the leading diversified hospitality lender benefits our owners by providing knowledgeable, experienced lending experts that understand the needs of the hotel industry.”
“The credit markets remain somewhat restrained,” said John A. Shingler, president of ASFONA. “With the industry in recovery, however, funding is slowly becoming more available. Having this alliance with Access Point will help our owners keep abreast of what’s happening in the financial community, and give them direct access to a lender that thoroughly understands our business.”
About Wells Fargo Capital Finance
Wells Fargo Capital Finance is the trade name for certain asset-based lending, accounts receivable and purchase order finance services of Wells Fargo & Company and its subsidiaries, and provides traditional asset-based lending, specialized senior secured financing, accounts receivable financing, purchase order financing and channel finance to companies across the United States and Canada. Dedicated teams within Wells Fargo Capital Finance provide financing solutions for companies in specific industries such as retail, software publishing and high-technology, commercial finance, staffing, government contracting and others. For more information, visit wellsfargocapitalfinance.com.
About the IHG Owners Association
The IHG Owners Association represents the interests of owners and operators of more than 3,100 InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) hotels worldwide in the United States, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Canada, Mexico and Latin America. The IHG family of brands includes InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts, Crowne Plaza® Hotels and Resorts, Hotel Indigo™, Holiday Inn® Hotels and Resorts, Holiday Inn Express®, Staybridge Suites® and Candlewood Suites®. For additional information, visit: www.owners.org or contact 770-604-5555.
About ASFONA – Association of Starwood Franchisees & Owners – North America
The mandate of ASFONA is to provide an effective line of communication between Starwood and its franchisees, owners and hotel management companies doing business in North America. The association provides Starwood the opportunity to seek the council and opinion of the franchise and ownership community on policy and standard operating procedures that can influence the owners’ businesses and the cost of doing business.
ASFONA’s Board of Directors is charged with providing the leadership required to build strong working relationships between Starwood and its franchisees and owners. The primary goal of ASFONA is to ensure that all ownership groups, and specifically those in membership, have a solid platform upon which both ASFONA and Starwood Hotels & Resorts’ management can work together in building the best and most successful brands in the hotel industry. For more information, please visit www.asfona.com.
About Stone Point Capital
Stone Point Capital LLC is a global private equity firm based in Greenwich, Connecticut, that has a 25-year record of making successful investments in the financial services industry. Stone Point Capital serves as the manager of the Trident Funds, which have raised more than $9 billion in committed capital to make investments in lending, banking, asset management and other financial services companies. For further information about Stone Point Capital, see www.stonepoint.com.
About Access Point Financial
Access Point Financial, Inc., is a partnership formed by Stone Point Capital LLC and APF management and is a global private equity firm based in Greenwich, Connecticut, that has a 25-year record of making successful investments in the financial services industry. Access Point, founded earlier this year, is a full-service lending and advisory platform servicing franchisees of the major branded hotels in the U.S. Additional information about the company may be found at the company’s website: www.accesspointfinancial.com.