Lennar Corp. (NYSE:LEN) is seeking to reacquire access to and an ownership stake in certain land assets it sold in 2007 to LandSource Communities Development LLC, which fell into bankruptcy in June 2008, 15 months after the sale.
Included in the properties in which Lennar seeks to invest is the Newhall Ranch tract 30 miles north of Los Angeles.
A communication was sent by the Steering Committee representing top lien holders to all 300 1st Lien Lenders on March 19 outlining a proposal under which LandSource would be reorganized with a substantial equity contribution from Lennar and additional capital infusions from 1st Lien Lenders. These lenders would in turn receive substantial equity in the reorganized company, and Lennar would acquire a minority interest in the company as well as other non-core assets of LandSouce and obtain settlement of unspecified claims.
Emile Haddad, Lennar's Chief Investment Officer who engineered the LandSource deal in 2007, would agree to manage the continued development of Newhall Ranch through a management company he would control.
The communication, a draft of which was obtained by Big Builder, did not specify assets other than Newhall Ranch nor did it disclose how the assets would be priced. However, it said the committee had executed a non-binding term sheet with Lennar and Haddad that provides alternative ways to sell assets to Lennar should the creditors not agree on a reorganization of LandSource. It also indicated that a conference call of all 1st Lien Holders would be scheduled before the end of March.
There was no mention in the communication of other creditors and their claims, raising the possibility that there could be objections to the plan raised before the bankrupcty court.
Barclay's Bank, the lead bank lender, last fall was seeking a hearing to force a swift auction process to sell off LandSource assets in the wake of the bankrupcty filing. The bank, however, agreed to drop its request for a hearing in November in order to allow LandSource to develop a reorganization plan.
A Lennar spokesman declined to comment on the plan or the communication.Representatives of LandSource and the committee could not be reached for comment.