Tag Archives: GE Capital

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Bank of America names Luke Millikin to post

GetFileAttachmentBank of America Merrill Lynch has announced that it has named Luke Millikin as senior vice president and senior client manager, serving in the Restaurant Group, providing financial solutions to franchisees and operating companies nationwide with an emphasis on the West Coast. His role is part of Global Commercial Banking, and he will be based in Phoenix.

Mr. Millikin joins the bank from GE Capital, where he most recently served as a managing director, leading its national coverage of chain restaurants.  He spent the majority of his career in the GE Franchise Finance group after completing the two-year GE Capital Financial Management Program.

Mr. Millikin is a CFA Charterholder and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in finance, Summa Cum Laude, from the W.P. Carey School of Business and the Barrett Honors College at Arizona State University.  He also served in the United States Army, 1st Infantry Division, as a health care specialist, where he achieved the rank of Sergeant in 2004.

Photo: http://southwestjet.com

Cresa negotiates on behalf of Southwest Jet Center

Southwest Jet Center, owner of the largest private hangar at Scottsdale Airpark, recently purchased 73,826 SF on 5.6 acres of land at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, 5615 South Sossaman Road, in Mesa.

Chris Walton, Gary Gregg, Eric Walker, and Ryan Burkett of Cresa Phoenix represented the buyer. The landlord, GE Capital, was represented by JLL.

“We are pleased to have facilitated the sale of 5615 South Sossaman, on behalf of our client Southwest Jet Center,” said Chris Walton. “This below market acquisition offers the buyer a unique addition to their portfolio and provides potential for long term rent growth with the stability of Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport.”

Paul Sweetland joins Cushman & Wakefield

Paul SweetlandPaul Sweetland has been named Senior Director in the Industrial Properties Division of Cushman & Wakefield of Arizona, Inc.

Sweetland leases and sells industrial properties with a specialization in freestanding owner/user buildings and multi-tenant developments. Clients served by Sweetland include Western Refining, Harsch Investment Properties, Westcore Properties, Washington Federal, MDI Capital, Panattoni Development, Equity Building Services, City National Bank and GE Capital.

Sweetland brings to Cushman & Wakefield more than 16 years of experience in the industrial real estate market.  He spent 13 years practicing in the Las Vegas market and has worked in the Metro Phoenix area for the past three years.

“We are thrilled to have Paul join us as we continue to grow our industrial presence in the greater Phoenix market,” commented Joe Cook, C&W’s COO, U.S. Markets.

Sweetland holds the designation of Society of Industrial and Office Realtors (SIOR). He earned real estate licenses from both the Arizona School of Real Estate and Business and the Nevada School of Real Estate and Business.


David Laurence Assumes Senior VP Post at GE Capital Commercial Distribution Finance


David Laurence has taken on a new role within GE Capital’s Commercial Distribution Finance (CDF) business.

As a senior vice president in CDF’s Technology, Electronics and Appliance business, Laurence is charged with helping customers on the West Coast and in the Midwest leverage GE Capital’s global capabilities.

An 11-year veteran of CDF, Laurence was most recently vice president and national sales manager of its Technology, Electronics and Appliance business, which offers customers in these three industries inventory and accounts receivable financing, asset-based lending, private label financing, collateral management and related financial products.

Overall, CDF provided nearly $31B in financing for more than 40,000 manufacturers, dealers and distributors across North America in 2012.

Prior to joining GE Capital, Laurence was a regional sales manager with Deutsche Financial Services, affiliated with Deutsche Bank, and an auditor with ITT Commercial Finance.

A native of Tempe, Laurence lives in Chandler with his wife and two daughters. He is based at GE Capital’s Scottsdale office and holds a B.S. degree in finance from Arizona State University.


Restaurant Industry

Restaurant Industry Starts To Simmer

The American restaurant industry is starting to simmer. Consumers are spending more on meals, and foot traffic at establishments is improving, albeit from a diminished base, according to the 22nd edition of the Chain Restaurant Industry Review, released at this week’s Restaurant Leadership Conference by GE Capital, Franchise Finance. As sales trends recover, operators are translating those positive feelings into a greater willingness to invest in their businesses. And with increasingly accessible credit, they’re able to commit to higher capital expenditures.

“The restaurant industry has come through the upheaval of the past several years by listening closely to the consumer and adapting to their changing tastes – and they’ve done it well,” said Agustin Carcoba, president and CEO of GE Capital, Franchise Finance. “Depending on their segment, brand and focus, operators have emphasized food quality, service quality, menu options and other factors that will lead to renewed growth this year and in the years ahead. Even better, operators did it all while managing operational costs.”

Consumers spent $406.6 billion at restaurants in 2011. For 21 consecutive months, they spent more at restaurants than grocery stores, and that trend is expected to continue. Last year, quick-service restaurants (QSR) accounted for 48.0 percent of that figure, while full-service restaurants (FSR) counted for 48.1 percent. The QSR category includes limited service, fast casual, take-out locations and snack and non-alcoholic beverage bars, while FSR includes family, casual, high-end casual and fine dining establishments.

Operators’ improved expectations can be partially attributed to positive results that were sustained throughout last year. QSR same-store sales grew 3.2% last year – ahead of the FSR rate of 2.4%. QSR benefitted from eight consecutive periods of growth due to more consistent traffic, while FSR relied more on menu price increases and higher average checks.

“Restaurateurs are no longer in survival mode; now they’re planning for the future,” said Trey Brown, commercial leader of GE Capital, Franchise Finance. “To capture that growth and maintain a competitive advantage, they’re investing in their businesses by building new stores, remodeling existing ones or investing in new equipment.”

The level of liquidity available in the restaurant industry space continues to improve. Merger and acquisition activity – an indicator of the popularity of the restaurant industry among investors – increased last year. Total syndicated volume in the restaurant space increased more than 26% to almost $12 billion in 2011. Strategic buyers returned, such as American Blue Ribbon Holdings LLC, Darden Restaurants and Landry’s Inc. Private equity firms were also active; for example, Golden Gate Capital acquired California Pizza Kitchen.

“We expect restaurants to continue to be appealing acquisition targets because of the ongoing increases in food dollars spent away from home, as well as the scalability of this business model,” Brown added.