"We think it [GE purchase] could be a boon," said Heller golf division vice president Rick Nekoroski, who oversees Eastern operations for Chicago-based Heller's Golf Lending Group.
is a huge company."
Earlier this year, General Electric Co.'s
$370-billion financial division, GE Capital, made a tender offer to purchase all shares of Heller stock for $53.75 per share.
Heller Financial first considered entering the golf lending market when Bank of America
announced it would stop writing golf loans in October 2000, Nekoroski
said.Heller launched its golf division and immediately became a major player when it agreed to purchase $185 million of Bank of America golf loans earlier this year.That deal officially closed in September.
...Heller has completed five individual deals since Nekoroski and John Seeburger, who oversees the group's Western operations, left Bank of America to join Heller.
"We've been very selective to date," Nekoroski
said."But Heller is very committed to the golf business."
HELLER"S GAME PLAN
According to Nekoroski
, golf course construction and overall operating revenues have slowed from the record levels of the past few years.The industry had a late spring, but a fairly healthy summer and fall.
Some golf markets have too many courses, Nekoroski
conceded."But we look at deals one property at a time and evaluate it for what it is.Some properties feel an impact from an oversupplied market.Others have good operators who can compensate for market pressures and maintain their numbers.At the right debt level, there's a deal to be made at any course."
Golf course values have decreased recently, leading to a few more sales, Nekoroski
said."Values have dropped 15 percent [in the past year] but need to drop another 10 percent before significantly more activity takes place." OTHER COURSE MANAGEMENT NEWS