• Steve Haggard – The Billboard Banker


    Today’s podcast guest is Steve Haggard, President and CEO of Metro Phoenix Bank.  He talks about making loans of $1-10 million to out of home advertising companies.

    Talk about Metro Phoenix Bank

    Stephen Haggard, CEO, Metro Phoenix Bank

    We are active with outdoor advertising media lending.  We have actually been involved with that asset class since inception.  The bank started in 2007…we were founded by local investors, business owners and fortunately some of these business owners happened to be involved heavily in the outdoor media industry.  On our board of directors we have people who are involved in the steel manufacturing side, the fabrication side as well as an outdoor media owner operator with a portfolio of billboards…

    What is prudent debt capacity for an out of home company?

    Debt/Worth ratio is a key component of our analysis…Leverage is good.  We’re in the business of lending…but it can get out of hand…We go up to 3-4 times debt to worth ratio…If my liabilities were 10, my net worth would be 3-4…We do an appraisal or market value assessment on their assets…On a debt service coverage ratio, we’re looking at about a 1.5 times coverage…Traditional commercial lending you’re looking at a 1.25-1.35 debt service coverage ratio but this industry is a little bit atypical so we bump it up a little bit.

    Do you use appraisals

    If everyone is comfortable proceeding we go out and engage a full-blown appraisal.  And those appraisals aren’t cheap.  We’ve got 5-6 people throughout the country that we’ll use for valuation…

    Metro Phoenix wants to deal with experienced operators

    If it’s a newbie coming out of the gate.  They don’t have any experience and it’s a startup operation, it’s probably not a good fit for Metro Phoenix Bank.  But if it’s someone that has some years under their belt and are looking to expand, they want to acquire another company, they want to take out a partner or they want to convert a bunch of static signs to digital signs.  Those are the types of scenarios that we’re seeing…

    What are typical out of home terms

    We’re in a space right now where our average deal size is $3-5 million.  That said, we’ve done transactions as low as $300,000 and as high as $12 million…The typical transaction is a 15-20 year amortization, we’ll usually have a 10 year balloon.  We are seeing rates…in the high 5’s.  Prime right now is 4.75%.  Regardless of fixed or variable, our maximum fixed period is five years.  Our average deal is Prime plus 1% which is 5.75%.  And anywhere from 1.25% to 2% on the origination fees…Monthly p&I payments…If they’ve got short term leases they’re not going to be seeing long term amortization from the bank.

    How do you collateralize a loan?

    Sometimes we take a deed of trust if it’s a real estate transaction.  If it’s a perpetual easement we will file a lien of perpetual easement.  If it’s a lease we’ll take an assignment of lease.  We’ll file a UCC on the fixtures and assets.  Many times we’ll get an assignment of the permit or take a UCC on the permit…

    Personal guarantees?

    9 out of 10 times we’re going to request it.  Sometimes there are negotiations…If you’ve got a compelling argument as to why you don’t need a guarantee we’re going to listen to you…Let me give you an example.  If someone comes to the table…and we’re looking at a very very low loan to value and exceptional cashflow and it’s been in operation for 20 years OK, we’re going to at least listen to that argument…there have been situations where there’s a corporate type of structure and there’s not a principal or individual that’s going to be a 20% owner…

    On the economy

    I keep saying that next year is going to be a slow down year…I think we’re going to see some setbacks here and that may be post election.  This cannot go on forever.  These growth rates we’ve seen over the past 7-8 years are tremendous…

    To learn more about Metro Phoenix Bank

    Our dedicated lender is Rickard Strom.  He can be reached at 602-346-1828…our website is metrophoenixbank.com.  We’ve got a section there that talks about our out of home media lending.

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    One Comment

    1. Ronald Borree says:

      re: Metro Phoenix Bank podcast..

      Excellent podcast… Mr. Haggard has a good grasp of OOH assets (tangible and intangible with various real estate interests) and his comments on how they are “cash flow” lending as compared to typical “real estate” lending shows an appreciation of the OOH business.

      Ron Borree