Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Diamond Lake District 76 to keep Fairhaven School building for a year, then weigh options 

Moving students out of Fairhaven School in Mundelein as part of a consolidation in tiny Diamond Lake Elementary District 76 has been the plan for a while. What to do with the building once they're gone is not as clear-cut. "For the foreseeable future, we are committed to a three-school, two-building district," said Lisa Yaffe, school board president. Possibilities for Fairhaven when the school years ends include mothballing the building at 634 Countryside Highway, tearing it down or trying to sell it and its land, which is appraised at $1.1 million. All come with pros and cons, including the costs of upkeep or demolition, questions about the true market value of the property, and the potential level of interest from buyers or renters. In any case, school officials likely will have another year to consider the options. "Our recommendation would be to retain the school for a year and revisit the conversation," Superintendent Bhavna Sharma-Lewis told school board members this week during a status report. One wild card is interest from the Special Education District of Lake County, which may be looking for space. SEDOL has sent an architect to examine the building and assess its condition. "Let's see what happens with SEDOL," Sharma-Lewis said. "Ideally, that would be the best." The SEDOL board on Nov. 14 agreed to study its options in light of continuing growth in it programs. according to Superintendent Valeri M. Donnan. "We're in the planning stage right now, so we're looking at many different things," she said. A collaborative planning session is scheduled for Dec. 11 and the board is expected to give more definitive direction Dec. 20, Donnan added. About 263 pre-K through first-grade students attend Fairhaven. The plan is to move them to Diamond Lake School, where second grade would be added. West Oak Middle School would be converted for grades 3 to 5 and 6 to 8 in separate areas on either side of the building. A "new beginnings" committee comprised of members from all three schools has been discussing details. "The goal is to make sure everything is lined up and ready to go," said Juliane Frederick, principal and director of special education at Fairhaven. "We have a very strong plan in place." According to the district, keeping the school building would provide flexibility and storage. Doing so would cost from $20,000 to $50,000 in utilities, insurance and other expenses. Clearing the property would make it more attractive for potential development, but finding a buyer would be a concern and the $400,000 demolition cost would be deducted from the sale price. Selling to a church, a private company or a school would be most profitable, according to the district, but research showed such interest currently is slim.
Nigeria's Diamond Bank sees no need to refinance $200 mln Eurobond at maturity 

LAGOS, Nov 30 Reuters - Nigeria’s Diamond Bank said on Friday it plans to pay off a $200 million Eurobond due in May with dollars generated from operations and has no plan to refinance the debt. The mid-tier lender also said it has received approval from the central bank to operate only in Nigeria, in a move to lower capital requirements after selling its international units. Reporting by Chijioke Ohuocha; Editing by Susan Fenton
November Pain for Carlyle-Backed Diamond Bank as Stock Plunges 

When it rains it pours and Nigerian lender Diamond Bank Plc is facing a deluge. Shares of the Lagos-based lender, backed by Carlyle Group LP, are at an all-time low after their worst month on record. Diamond Bank kicked off its November with a debt downgrade by S&P Global Ratings. A day later, it cut its earnings forecast by more than half. It followed that up within three days by scotching talk of an investor recapitalizing its operations. By the end of the month, Moody’s Investors Service added to its woes with another rating cut. The company is trying to fight back. The retail lender sold its West African operations about a year ago to focus on Nigeria, and is in the process of selling its U.K. unit, which Stanbic IBTC Stockbrokers estimates could fetch from $60 million to $70 million. It needs to secure that money: Diamond Bank’s dollar obligations next year include a $200 million Eurobond and $51 million International Finance Corp. loan, according to the broker. “Ultimately, if we get clarity on the financial close of the sale of the U.K. entity, we get more comfort in terms of understanding the road map for Diamond Bank to meet its important Eurobond obligation due in May next year,” the Lagos-based broker said. Debt Assurance Diamond Bank is confident it can meet its obligations, the lender said in response to questions, adding it is in talks with development finance institutions and multilateral agencies for dollar funding to help it meet the Eurobond repayment. Yields on the notes have surged, jumping from 9.8 percent in September to 31 percent on Friday. The lender is hopeful crude prices will rebound, which could trigger loan repayments by oil-exploration companies, boosting foreign-currency liquidity. It can also rely on “a number of foreign-exchange linked deposit products with medium- to long-tenure, which have enjoyed success in the market, and continue to generate reasonable foreign-exchange flows.” The stock closed 1.5 percent down at 65 kobo on Friday, paring earlier losses of as much as 7.6 percent after ’s report on its ability to meet the Eurobond payments. Still, it has lost 54 percent this month, the worst performer in Nigeria’s all-share index. Diamond Bank is among small Nigerian lenders struggling to recover from a 2016 contraction that hit companies and caused bad debts to soar. “There are issues with management and the way the bank is being run,” Robert Omotunde, a banking equity analyst at Afrinvest West Africa Ltd. said by phone from Lagos, adding it still needs to deal with a non-performing loan ratio of 12.6 percent in the third quarter. “For a bank that is barely trading at 10 percent of its book value, it tells you that sentiment is not in its favor,” he said, but it might just be trading at levels that may entice investors. — With assistance by Paul Wallace Before it's here, it's on the Terminal.

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