Equity LifeStyle Properties Inc. (ELS) Wednesday (June 8) announced that it has entered into a commitment for a $200 million senior unsecured term loan facility.
According to a news release, the term loan matures in six years and has a one-year extension option. The interest rate on the is at LIBOR plus 1.85% to 2.80% per annum. The spread over LIBOR is variable based on leverage throughout the loan term.
In connection with the term loan, the Chicago-based company also entered into a three-year LIBOR Swap Agreement allowing it to trade its variable interest rate for a fixed interest rate on the term loan. The term loan is expected to close, and the swap will become effective, on July 1.
The proceeds from the term loan are expected to be used to partially fund the previously announced pending acquisition of a portfolio of 76 manufactured home communities containing 31,167 sites on approximately 6,500 acres located in 16 states (primarily located in Florida and the northeastern region of the United States) and certain manufactured homes and loans secured by manufactured homes located at the Hometown Properties for a stated purchase price of $1.43 billion.
ELS anticipates closing on the acquisition of 39 of the properties on July 1 with a stated purchase price of approximately $519.0 million.
ELS owns or has an interest in 307 quality properties in 27 states and British Columbia consisting of 111,008 sites. The company is a self-administered, self-managed, real estate investment trust (REIT) with headquarters in Chicago.
Chicago-based Equity LifeStyle Properties, Inc. (ELS) announced Tuesday (May 31) it had entered into purchase and other agreements with certain affiliates of Hometown America, L.L.C. to acquire a portfolio of 76 manufactured home communities containing 31,167 sites on approximately 6,500 acres located in 16 states.
The stated purchase price: $1.43 billion.
The sale also includes certain manufactured homes and loans secured by manufactured homes located at the Hometown Properties.
ELS, a major player in the RV park and campground business through its affiliated Encore properties, anticipates that the acquisition will be funded through:
• The net proceeds from a public offering of common stock.
• The assumption by ELS of approximately $524.3 million of fixed-rate, non- recourse mortgage indebtedness (as of March 31, 2011) secured by 34 properties in the Hometown Portfolio with a weighted average interest rate of approximately 5.63% per annum and a weighted average maturity of approximately 6.0 years.
• The issuance by ELS to Hometown of: 1,7 million shares of common stock, par value $0.01 per share, and 1.74 million shares of Series B Subordinated Non-Voting Cumulative Redeemable Preferred Stock, par value $0.01 per share, which have a stipulated aggregate value of $200 million in the purchase agreements.
• Approximately $300 million of debt capital through an anticipated 10-year secured financing that the company plans to raise after completion of a public offering of common stock.
• Approximately $200 million of debt capital through an anticipated six-year unsecured term loan that the company plans to raise after completion of a public offering of common stock.
Prior to the announcement, ELS owned and managed, or had a controlling interest in more than 300 communities with more than 110,000 sites. Founded more than 30 years ago, the real estate investment trust has been a publicly traded company since 1993.
Encore RV Resorts and Thousand Trails, which are owned and operated by Equity LifeStyle Properties, are sharing their commitment to environmentally friendly RVing with their guests by offering free samples of Nature-Zyme – an environmentally friendly holding tank solution.
Starting at seven Encore resorts (see below for property names and locations), RVers who do not currently use a chemical-free holding tank solution will be offered a free sample of Nature-Zyme when they arrive to begin their overnight stay, according to a news release.
“Encore Resorts and Thousand Trails have been investing in environmentally friendly initiatives for years, ranging from use of solar panels to heat pools to installation of energy efficient fixtures and light bulbs.” said Ellen Kelleher, executive vice president of property management for ELS. “We use environmentally safe treatment solutions at our campgrounds and feel offering similar products to our guests is a great way to help increase awareness.”
Nature-Zyme is a 100% natural and non-toxic RV holding tank treatment that has been shown to effectively manage holding tank needs while improving overall operation of RV holding tank systems. Use of Nature-Zyme promotes “Clean and Green” RV’ing by removing the need for use of hazardous chemicals that are often found in products used to manage holding tanks.
The Encore Resort properties where guests can receive a free Nature-Zyme sample include:
- Pio Pico RV Resort in Jamul.
- Wilderness Lakes RV Resort in Menifee.
- Palm Desert RV Resort in Palm Desert.
- San Francisco RV Resort in Pacifica.
- Whalers Rest RV Resort in South Beach
- La Conner RV Resort in La Conner
- Chesapeake Bay RV Resort in Gloucester
ELS owns or has an interest in 307 quality properties in 27 states and British Columbia consisting of 111,004 sites. The company is a self-administered, self-managed, real estate investment trust (REIT) with headquarters in Chicago.
Equity LifeStyle Properties Inc. today (Jan. 25) announced results for the quarter and year ended Dec. 31.
In a companion development, ELS announced that Joe McAdams, company president, is scaling back his duties at ELS and will step down as president effective Feb. 1.
Chicago-based ELS owns or has an interest in 307 RV parks and manufactured housing communities in 27 states and British Columbia consisting of 110,984 sites.
For the fourth quarter 2010, Funds From Operations (FFO) were $25.9 million, or 73 cents per share, compared to $27.7 million, or 79 cents per shares for the same period in 2009. For the year ended Dec. 31, FFO was $123.2 million, or $3.47 per share, compared to $118.1 million, or $3.58 per share for the same period in 2009, according to a news release.
Net income available to common stockholders totaled $5.7 million, or 18 cents per share for the fourth quarter. This compares to net income available to common stockholders of $6.3 million, or 21 cents per share for the same period in 2009. Net income available to common stockholders totaled $38.4 million, or $1.25 per share for the year ended Dec. 31. This compares to net income available to common stockholders of $34.0 million, or $1.22 per share for the same period in 2009.
As previously discussed in Dec. 15 press release, the results for the quarter and year ended Dec. 31 include a non-cash charge related to the write-off of goodwill in the fourth quarter of 2010 of approximately $3.6 million, or 10 cents per share.
Fourth quarter 2010 property operating revenues were $117.9 million, compared to $115 million in the fourth quarter of 2009. Property operating revenues for the year ended Dec. 31 were $491.7 million, compared to $479.3 million for the year ended Dec. 31, 2009.
For the quarter ended Dec. 31, core property operating revenues increased approximately 1.3%and core property operating expenses decreased approximately 0.1%, resulting in an increase of approximately 2.8% to income from core property operations over the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2009.
For the year ended Dec. 31, core property operating revenues increased approximately 1.5% and core property operating expenses increased approximately 1%, resulting in an increase of approximately 2.1%to income from core property operations over the year ended
For the quarter ended Dec. 31, the company had 20 new home sales (including six third-party dealer sales), which represents a 41.2% decrease as compared to the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2009. Gross revenues from home sales were $1.4 million for the quarter ended Dec. 31, compared to $2.1 million for the same period in 2009.
For the year ended Dec.31, the company had 82 new home sales (including 19 third-party dealer sales), which represents a 27.4% decrease as compared to the same period in 2009. Gross revenues from home sales were $6.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2010, compared to $7.1 million for the same period in 2009.
Average long-term secured debt balance was approximately $1.4 billion in the quarter, with a weighted average interest rate, including amortization, of approximately 6.04% per annum. Interest coverage was approximately 2.4 times in the quarter ended Dec. 31.
During the quarter ended Dec. 31, the company paid off approximately $2.4 million of financing encumbering one resort property with a stated interest rate of 5.58% per annum.
In 2011, the company has approximately $52 million of secured mortgage debt maturing, the majority of which we expect to pay off during the first six months of 2011.
Meanwhile, McAdams, 67, the company’s current president, has expressed a desire to reduce his involvement in the day-to-day operations of the company. Effective Feb. 1, McAdams will become president of a subsidiary of the company involved in ancillary activities and relinquish his role as president of ELS.
“We appreciate Joe’s willingness to continue to be a part-time resource for the company and thank him for his contribution to the company’s steady performance over the last few years in a challenging economic environment,” said Thomas Heneghan, ELS CEO.
Heneghan will re-assume the role of president of the company, in addition to his current role as CEO. As a result, effective Feb. 1, the following executive officers will be reporting to Heneghan:
- Michael Berman, executive vice president and CFO.
- Ellen Kelleher, executive vice president, property management.
- Roger Maynard, executive vice president, asset management.
- Marguerite Nader, executive vice president, new business development.
- Seth Rosenberg, senior vice president of sales and marketing.
Kelleher will no longer act as secretary of the company as such duties will be transitioned to Rosenberg, the company’s general counsel. Rosenberg joined the company in February 2010 and was previously a general manager for a division of Active Network Inc., a leading provider of software and marketing services used by campgrounds and other outdoor recreation providers.
Guidance for 2011 FFO per share, on a fully-diluted basis, is projected to be in the range of $3.75 to $3.95 for the year ending Dec. 31, 2011, and in the range of $1.06 to $1.16 for the quarter ending March 31, 2011. The company estimates that core property operating revenue for 2011 is expected to grow at approximately 1% to 1.5% over 2010, assuming stable occupancy. Income from core property operations, excluding property management expenses, is expected to grow at approximately 2.5% to 3% over 2010.
Equity LifeStyle Properties Inc. (ELS) announced Wednesday (Dec. 15) that the company will incur a non-cash charge related to the write-off of goodwill in the fourth quarter of 2010 of approximately $3.6 million, or 10 cents per share.
The goodwill was recorded in connection with the company’s August 2009 acquisition of a small Florida Internet and media-based advertising business, according to a news release. The business operates a professional call center to promote advertising and resale brokerage services for the sale of campground memberships and vacation ownership intervals.
A primary purpose of this acquisition was to consolidate most of the company’s call center operations at this location. Overall call center activity improved in 2010 due in part to increased RV resort reservations and the rollout of new low-cost membership products. The company is evaluating the sale to a third party of the advertising and resale brokerage services. Alternatively, the company may transfer these services to another subsidiary that operates a reciprocal use campground membership business or cease certain operations. The net income from the advertising and resale brokerage services in 2010 is expected to be approximately $300,000.
In light of the company and its board’s objective of full and transparent disclosure and due to the uncertainty in valuing the advertising and resale brokerage services, the company has decided to recognize a non-cash charge for the goodwill allocated to the acquisition. As a result of the charge, fourth quarter net income will be reduced by approximately $3.6 million, or 10 cents per share. Excluding this item, the company reiterates its previously announced 2010 and 2011 earnings guidance.
ELSowns or has an interest in 307 quality properties in 27 states and British Columbia consisting of 110,984 sites. The company is a self-administered, self-managed, real estate investment trust with headquarters in Chicago.
Nearly half a million snowbirds are expected to descend on Sunbelt RV parks this winter, many of which are owned by Equity LifeStyle Properties.
Nothing unusual there. ELS is the largest owner and operator of RV resorts in the Sunbelt, with roughly 100 of its 170 properties being located in some of the most sought after vacation destinations in California, Arizona, Texas, Florida and the Carolinas, according to a news release.
But while ELS is best known for its resort-like amenities, which include sparkling swimming pools, golf courses, tennis courts, concerts and other live entertainment, the company is also hoping to gain market recognition for finding an environmentally friendly way to treat RV holding tank waste.
This fall, ELS is introducing snowbirds to Nature-ZYME, its private label RV and marine holding tank product manufactured by BiOWish Technologies, a Chicago-based company that has established itself as a world leader in the creation of fast-acting, environmentally friendly wastewater treatment products.
In addition to providing every guest with information on Nature-ZYME when they check in, ELS representatives are discussing the product – and the problems associated with formaldehyde and other chemical-based holding tank treatment products – at mini seminars and informal gatherings.
The fundamental problem with chemical based holding tank products, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, is that they disrupt the natural biological processes that break down human waste in septic and other wastewater treatment systems.
The California Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds sponsored a bill earlier this year with nearly unanimous support from the state legislature that would have banned the sale of RV holding tank products with formaldehyde and other chemicals.
While Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed the bill, campground operators in California and other states are stepping up their efforts to educate consumers about the hazards associated with using chemical-based holding thank products.
“When chemicals, such as formaldehyde, are added to septic systems, they can cause bacteria in the system to die,” the EPA wrote in a July 1999 alert to consumers and park operators. “When this happens, the septic system cannot treat waste adequately. Solids that are allowed to pass from the septic tank, due to inadequate or incomplete treatment, may clog the leachfield. Furthermore, clogged systems may send inadequately or incompletely treated sewage to the surface, threatening the health of people or pets who come into contact with it. Or it may percolate to ground water, where the chemicals and untreated wastewater could contaminate nearby drinking water wells, rivers and streams.”
Nature-ZYME, however, is an enzyme based product that does not contain any microbial inhibitors or suffocants. “It is truly organic and biodegradable,” said David Kozy, vice president and director of operations of RV, Home & Marine Solutions, the ELS subsidiary that is marketing the Nature-ZYME holding tank treatment product.
“We really think we have identified a solution to one of the most challenging environmental problems in the RV and marine industries,” he said, adding that RVers and ELS resort operators have been quietly testing this product for months in a wide range of temperatures and weather conditions and have been amazed at its performance.
RVers, for their part, say they have been impressed with Nature-ZYME’s performance.
- Dave Morgen, a 69-year-old Kentucky resident and part-time RV tour director, said he tried Nature-ZYME on multiple RV trips in July, August, September and October, including one six-week trip. “It seems to break down everything a lot better than the chemical products,” he said, adding that he never used an environmentally friendly RV holding tank product before.
- Bob and Roxanne Camron of Paso Robles, Calif., also used Nature-ZYME during a recent 10-day trip from California to Santa Fe, N.M., and were pleased with the results. “It performed better than previous products in that no odor was detected at all,” Bob Camron said.
Kozy said ELS found an environmentally friendly solution for wastewater treatment when an outside consultant suggested the company use an enzyme-based treatment products to improve the performance of the company’s septic tanks and wastewater treatment systems. “We found that the product worked so well that we asked BiOWIsh Technologies if they could produce a product that would work for the RV and marine industries,” Kozy said. “We subsequently obtained the licensing rights to market the product as Nature-ZYME in the U.S.”
ELS expects to personally introduce Nature-ZYME to hundreds of thousands of RV enthusiasts as they visit ELS resorts in the Sunbelt and across the country during the coming year, Kozy said. For more information on Nature-ZYME, please visit www.Nature-Zyme.com.
Chicago-based Equity Lifestyle Properties is a publicly traded real estate investment trust that owns and operates RV resorts and manufactured home communities throughout the U.S. and Canada, including Thousand Trails, America finest membership camping and home of the Zone Camping Pass. For more information on ELS and its subsidiaries, please visit www.equitylifestyle.com andwww.thousandtrails.com.
ELS owns and operates RV resorts in the following Sunbelt communities:
- Apollo Village RV Resort, Peoria
- Araby Acres RV Resort, Yuma
- Cactus Gardens RV Resort, Yuma
- Capri RV Resort, Yuma
- Casa del Sol Resort West, Peoria
- Casita Verde RV Resort, Casa Grande
- Central Park RV Resort, Phoenix
- Countryside RV Resort, Apache Junction
- Desert Paradise RV Resort, Yuma
- Desert Vista RV Resort, Salome
- Fairview Manor, Tucson
- Fiesta Grande RV Resort, Casa Grande
- Foothill Village RV Resort, Yuma
- • Foothills West RV Resort, Casa Grande
- Golden Sun RV Resort, Apache Junction
- Mesa Verde RV Resort, Yuma
- Monte Vista Village RV Resort, Mesa
- Palm Shadows RV Resort, Glendale
- Paradise RV Resort, Sun City
- Seyenna Vistas RV Resort, Mesa
- Suni Sands RV Resort, Yuma
- Sunrise Heights RV Resort, Phoenix
- Valley Verde RV Resort, Cottonwood
- Valley Vista RV Resort, Benson
- Viewpoint RV Resort, Mesa
- Voyager RV Resort, Tucson
- Whispering Palms RV Resort, Phoenix
- Morgan Hill RV Resort, Morgan Hill
- Oakzanita Springs RV Resort, Descanso
- Pacific Dunes RV Resort, Oceano
- Palm Springs Oasis RV Resort, Cathedral City
- Palm Springs RV Resort, Palm Desert
- Pio Pico RV Resort, Jamul
- Rancho Oso RV Resort, Santa Barbara
- San Benito RV Resort, Paicines
- Santa Cruz Ranch RV Resort, Scotts Valley
- San Francisco RV Resort, Pacifica
- Soledad Canyon RV Resort, Acton
- Turtle Beach RV Resort, Manteca
- Wilderness Lakes RV Resort, Menifee
- Barrington Hills RV Resort, Hudson
- Breezy Hill RV Resort, Pompano Beach
- Bulow RV Resort, Flagler Beach
- Clerbrook Golf and RV Resort, Clermont
- Crystal Isles RV Resort, Crystal River
- Fort Myers Beach RV Resort, Fort Myers
- Gulf Air RV Resort, Fort Myers Beach
- Gulfview RV Resort, Punta Gorda
- Harbor Lakes RV Resort, Port Charlotte
- Highland Wood RV Resort, Pompano Beach
- Lake Magic RV Resort, Clermont
- Orlando RV Resort, Clermont
- Peace River RV Resort, Wauchula
- Pine Island RV Resort, St. James City
- Pioneer Village RV Resort, North Fort Myers
- Ramblers Rest RV Resort, Venice
- Royal Coachman RV Resort, Nokomis
- Sherwood Forest RV Resort, Kissimmee
- Silver Dollar RV Resort, Odessa
- Southern Palms RV Resort, Eustis
- Sunshine Holiday Daytona RV Resort, Daytona Beach
- Sunshine Holiday MHCC RV Resort, Fort Lauderdale
- Sunshine Key RV Resort and Marina, Big Pine Key
- Sunshine Travel RV Resort, Vero Beach
- Terra Ceia Village RV Resort, Palmetto
- Three Flags RV Resort, Wildwood
- Tobys RV Resort, Arcadia
- Topics RV Resort, Spring Hill
- Vacation Village RV Resort, Largo
- Winter Garden RV Resort, Winter Garden
- Winter Quarters Manatee RV Resort, Bradenton
- Winter Quarters Pasco RV Resort, Lutz
- Forest Lake RV Resort, Advance
- Goose Creek RV Resort, Newport
- Green Mountain Park RV Resort, Lenoir
- Lake Gaston RV Resort, Littleton
- Lake Myers RV Resort, Mocksville
- Scenic RV Resort, Asheville
- Twin Lakes RV Resort, Chocowinity
- Waterway RV Resort, Swansboro
- Carolina Landing RV Resort, Fair Play
- The Oaks at Point South RV Resort, Yemassee
- Bay Landing RV Resort, Bridgeport
- Colorado River RV Resort, Columbus
- Country Sunshine RV Resort, Weslaco
- Fun N Sun RV Resort, San Benito
- Lake Conroe RV Resort, Willis
- Lake Tawakoni RV Resort, Point
- Lake Texoma RV Resort, Gordonville
- Lake Whitney RV Resort, Whitney
- Lakewood RV Resort, Harlingen
- Medina Lake RV Resort, Lakehills
- Paradise Park RV Resort, Harlingen
- Paradise South RV Resort, Mercedes
- Southern Comfort RV Resort, Weslaco
- Tropic Winds RV Resort, Harlingen
Year-to-date occupancies and revenues at campgrounds, RV parks and resorts through Labor Day weekend were generally consistent with last year’s figures, according to a news release from the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC).
“Private park operators are generally pleased with their performance this year,” said Linda Profaizer, ARVC president and CEO.
She added that parks that have invested in rental accommodations, such as park model cabins and cottages, have done particularly well.
The biggest exception, however, were parks along the Gulf Coast, many of which lost considerable summer business as a result of the BP oil spill and related media coverage.
Billings, Mont.-based Kampgrounds of America Inc. (KOA), the nation’s largest campground chain with roughly 475 parks, said its year-to-date occupancies through Labor Day weekend were down 0.7%, while revenues rose 2.7%, according to Mike Gast, KOA’s vice president of communications.
The slight occupancy decline was largely due to weaker business levels last winter, while summer occupancies actually outpaced last summer’s figures by 2.5%, Gast said. He added that revenues for the company’s park model cabins and cottages, which KOA markets as “Kamping Lodges,” were up 27% over last year’s figures, which reflects both rising consumer demand for rental accommodations in campgrounds as well as a larger rental inventory.
Indeed, KOA and other campground chains have increasingly invested in park model cabins and other rental accommodations in recent years.
Milford, Ohio-based Leisure Systems Inc. (LSI), which franchises Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resorts, saw its year-to-date occupancies through August increase by 4%, while revenues grew by 3%, said company Vice President Dean Crawford. Demand for cabins and park models, however, grew by 13%, also reflecting increased demand and an increased inventory of units, he said.
Meanwhile, Equity LifeStyle Properties (ELS), a Chicago-based Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) whose holdings include RV parks and resorts, said occupancies and revenues for its core RV properties were up 2.3% and 3.1%, respectively, through July, according to Ellen Kelleher, ELS’s executive vice president of property management.
Kelleher added that while occupancies for transient or traveling RVers fell by 3.3% during the period, revenues were up 3.3%. ELS also reported gains in seasonal and annual customers, up 15.3% and 2.1%, respectively, while revenues increased by 3.9% and 4.9%. The annual figures include occupancies and revenues from consumers who own park models at ELS parks, Kelleher said.
ELS also reported an 8.5% decline in park model rental occupancies through July, but this was because the company wound up selling many of its units to consumers who wanted to stay for extended periods of time at ELS resorts.
Across the country, several park operators and industry officials reported an exceptional summer camping season.
“We are showing an increase of 6% in business for 2010. This is our actual increase in site nights after subtracting for our annual rate increases,” said David L. Berg, who owns Red Apple Campground in Kennebunkport, Maine, in addition to serving as ARVC chairman.
Berg, whose park is affiliated with the Best Parks in America network, attributed much of the increase at his park to an unusually hot and dry summer in Maine. Berg also said many campers are taking more frequent trips, but for shorter periods of time. “I find folks making reservations at the last minute, or trying to get in when we often are sold out. Also they are not staying for week-long stays, but rather doing three- and four-day mini vacations and are getting away more often.”
Berg also said he has seen a large influx of tent campers this year, which he attributes to the economy. “I feel this is a win-win situation for all,” Berg said. “Customers get a reasonable priced vacation and we as an industry get new customers, who if they get the experience they are looking for, they will upgrade in time to a popup or RV of some sort down the road. This is an example of finding the silver lining in the tough times we are all in economically.”
But tent camping is also influenced by weather patterns.
KOA, for example, saw tent camping decline by 1.3% at its parks nationwide, Gast said. “Weather nationwide is probably the primary driver of that,” he said. “Inventory (tent sites) has been relatively stable for years.”
Other parks also saw significant business gains this year, including Misty River Cabins & RV Resort LLC, a Best Parks in America affiliate in Walland, Tenn., which saw its year-to-date business grow by 17%, according to park owner Jimmy Felton.
Castaways RV Resort and Campground in Berlin, Md. also saw double-digit growth during the summer season, with a 4% increase in business year-to-date, according to Kathleen Morris, the park’s general manager. Morris attributed the increased business in part to the warm dry summer on the East Coast.
Meanwhile, Crossroads RV Park in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, saw a 19% increase in year-to-date occupancies, said park owner Jeff Krug, who also serves as president of the Iowa Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds. Krug attributed the increase in part to the relative newness of his three-year-old overnight park, which more and more campers are discovering.
In California, Ron and Sheryl Culp of Green Acres RV Park in Redding said their year-to-date business was down 2.7% from last year, although their summer business was up 4.3% from a year ago.
The former owner of three campgrounds in Maine’s Hancock County has filed a lawsuit against the Bangor law firm and the lawyers who represented her in the sale of those campgrounds in 2005, claiming $6.7 million in damages, the Bangor Daily News reported.
Attorneys for Patty Rae Stanley of Memphis, Tenn., who owned the Mount Desert Narrows Camping Resort in Bar Harbor, Narrows Too Camping Resort in Trenton and Patten Pond Camping Resort in Ellsworth, filed the lawsuit Tuesday in U.S. District Court against the Eaton Peabody law firm and its attorneys Dan McKay and Sarah Zmistowski.
The lawsuit seeks a jury trial on the civil claims of professional negligence, breach of fiduciary duty and unintentional misrepresentation against the firm and the attorneys.
According to court documents filed by Stanley’s attorney, Michael J. Waxman of Portland, the suit stems from a land deal in which Stanley was approached by Equity Lifestyle Properties Inc., a publicly traded, Chicago-based company interested in purchasing her three campground properties.
She hired Eaton Peabody to represent her in the deal, which was a complicated affair, and repeatedly told attorney Zmistowski that “she did not understand the deal herself and was relying on EP [Eaton Peabody] to protect her,” the suit states.
The suit claims that the Eaton Peabody attorneys did not adequately explain to Stanley the details of the real estate deal and, in fact, did not fully understand themselves the interaction between different provisions in the real estate transaction.
As a result, the suit states, because of the “negligent representation” by the Eaton Peabody attorneys, Stanley sold the property, valued at $13.5 million, for half that amount, from which she had to pay outstanding debts of about $4 million.
After taxes, the suit states, Stanley netted less than $2 million from the sale of her three properties.
The suit asks the court to award compensation as well as punitive damages.
According to attorney Waxman, the economic damages alone are at least $6,750,000. In an e-mail, Waxman declined to comment further on the lawsuit.
“The complaint is self-explanatory,” he wrote.
Eaton Peabody has not responded formally to the suit at this time. Bernard J. Kubetz, an Eaton Peabody attorney, also declined to comment on the allegations in the lawsuit. Kubetz said that he was aware of the work his partners had done for Stanley.
“I believe we gave her appropriate advice and that it was an advantageous transaction for her,” he said Wednesday. “It is unfortunate that, six years later, she is second-guessing the decisions she made at that time. When all the evidence is out, I’m confident that a judge or jury will conclude that our work for Ms. Stanley was appropriate; that we gave her good advice and provided good representation.”
Attorneys from Eaton Peabody, including Kubetz, represent the Bangor Daily News in legal matters.
Within two to three weeks, Equity LifeStyle Properties Inc. (ELS) plans to begin marketing Nature-ZYME, a highly effective environmentally responsible RV and marine holding tank product that eliminates odors and liquefies waste without the use of formaldehyde or other toxic chemicals.
Nature-ZYME is ELS’s private label holding tank product, which is manufactured by BiOWiSH Technologies, a Chicago-based company that has established itself as a world leader in creation of fast-acting, environmentally friendly wastewater treatment products, according to a news release.
“RVers and campground operators across the country have been quietly testing this product for months in a wide range of temperatures and weather conditions and have been amazed at its performance,” said David Kozy, vice president and director of operations of RSI RV, Home & Marine Solutions, the ELS subsidiary that is marketing the Nature-ZYME holding tank treatment product. “We really think we have identified a solution to one of the most challenging environmental problems in the RV and marine industries.”
Kozy said the fundamental problem with most holding tank products is that they use microbial inhibitors, such as formaldehyde and other chemicals, which prevent natural biological processes from breaking down human waste as they would normally do. As a result, chemical-based holding tank products can cause septic systems to overflow, potentially contaminating groundwater supplies.
He said ELS distributed 4,500 samples of Nature-ZYME last week to RVers attending The Rally in Louisville, Ky., and was subsequently inundated with requests from consumers who wanted to purchase the product.
“There is a lot of pent-up demand for environmentally friendly holding tank products,” Kozy said. “People increasingly recognize that chemically based holding tank products can pose various risks to themselves and to the environment.”’
“The new line of products we have developed in conjunction with Equity LifeStyle Properties could revolutionize the RV market and marina industry by reducing the environmental impact of wastewater discharges by these vehicles,” said BiOWiSH Technologies President Rod Vautier.
Nature-ZYME has been tested by more than 100 RVing consumers, including Thousand Trails members, since last fall in addition to being tested at 14 different ELS RV parks and resorts. A second test is underway involving RVers affiliated with the Good Sam Club. ELS also hired an outside firm to test the effectiveness of the BiOWiSH product against competing biodegradable and chemical-based holding tank products and was pleased with the results.
“We’ve been trying to gather as much feedback as possible, both from RV park operators and from consumers, and all of it comes back positive,” Kozy said.
While ELS does not plan to launch a full-scale consumer marketing campaign until this fall, the product will be available for purchase online by late August. For more information on Nature-ZYME, please visit www.Nature-Zyme.com.
Chicago-based Equity Lifestyle Properties is a publicly traded real estate investment trust that owns and operates RV resorts and manufactured home communities throughout the U.S. and Canada, including the Thousand Trails campground membership club. For more information on ELS and its subsidiaries, visit www.equitylifestyle.com and www.thousandtrails.com.
Formerly headquartered in Sydney, Australia, BiOWish Technologies recently relocated its corporate offices to Chicago in an effort to be closer to its key markets in North America and Europe. BiOWiSH Technologies owns exclusive and global intellectual property rights to the development, manufacturing, sales, marketing and distribution of BiOWiSH products that serve the needs of consumer, wastewater treatment, agriculture, aquaculture, agronomy, solid waste management, soil and water remediation and industrial cleaning industries. The company maintains international offices in Sydney and Bangkok, Thailand. Additional information about the company is available at www.biowishtechnologies.com.
Equity LifeStyle Properties Inc. (ELS), a real estate investment trust, reported a rise in earnings for the second quarter, attributed to higher revenues, and a slight fall in expenses.
Funds From operations (FFO) per share beat Wall Street estimates, but property revenues fell short of expectations. Also, the company gave its guidance for the for the full year of fiscal 2010, RTT News reported.
For the quarter, FFO rose to $27.1 million, from $23.7 million a year ago. On a per share basis, earnings were lower at $0.76, compared with $0.77, reflecting a higher share count.
On average, six analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected earnings per share of $0.69. Analysts’ estimates typically exclude special items.
Funds available for distribution was lower at $18.66 million or $0.53 per share, compared with $19.46 million or $0.63 per share.
Net income available to common stockholders rose to $6.0 million or $0.20 per share, from $2.9 million, or $0.11 per share the prior year.
Total revenues grew to $123.84 million, from $121.52 million.
The company said that property operating revenues climbed to $119.0 million, from $116.1 million last year.
Two Wall Street analysts had forecast revenues of $120.40 million.
Revenues for the latest quarter included a rise in community base rental income to $64.6 million, from $63.31 million. Resort base rental income slightly climbed to $28.5 million, from $27.74 million.
Consolidated income from continuing operations was higher at $11.02 million, versus $7.35 million the prior year.
The company also gained from a fall in total expenses to $113.38 million, from $114.64 million.
For the quarter, the company said it had 22 new home sales, up 4.8% from last year level. Total sites as of June 30, 2010, was at 111,000.
The company’s average long-term secured debt balance was approximately $1.5 billion in the quarter.
For the six-month period, FFO rose to $64.6 million, from $61.6 million the prior year. On a per share basis, earnings fell to $1.82, from $2.01. Net income increased to $21.1 million or $0.69 per share, from $16.5 million or $0.65 per share. Property operating revenues increased to $246.5 million, from $240.4 million. Total revenues grew to $255.9 million, from $252.34 million.
Looking ahead, the company said it expects FFO per share of $1.68 – $1.78, and net income of $0.54 – $0.64 for the six months ended Dec. 31, 2010. Also, it expects income from core property operations, excluding property management expenses, to grow between 2.5% – 3.0% from a year ago.
For the full year of fiscal 2010, the company anticipates FFO per share of $3.50 – $3.60, and net income of $1.23 – $1.33. Also, the company estimates core property operating revenue to grow between 1.0% – 1.5%. Also, income from core property operations, excluding property management expenses, is expected to rise between 1.5% – 2.0% from a year ago.
Wall Street analysts are looking out for FFO per share of $3.49, on revenues of $498.06 million for the full year of fiscal 2010.
ELS closed Monday’s regular trading at $49.29, up $0.98 or 2.03%, on a volume of 205,401 shares on the NYSE.