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Report: CoreCivic taps Nomura for loan deal after longtime lender cut ties

CoreCivic Inc. has turned to Japanese investment firm Nomura Holdings Inc. to arrange fresh financing and to act as the administrative agent on a new $250 million loan after the prison real estate investment trust's longtime lender Bank of America Corp. severed ties with the private prison industry, Bloomberg News reported, citing people knowledge of the matter.

Nomura has stepped in to fill the void left by U.S. banks, pension funds and private equity firms amid increasing pressure to stop doing business with private prison operators, the news outlet noted.

The $250 million loan was issued at a spread of 4.5 percentage points over the London interbank offered rate and at a discount of 95 cents on the dollar, the people told Bloomberg.

The REIT initially reached out to one of its existing lenders, Citizens Financial Group Inc., to manage a $250 million seven-year loan in June but that deal was never finalized, sources said. Nomura then pitched a revised version of this financing in November, reducing the maturity to five years from seven, the people added.

Bank of America's retreat came on the heels of Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren's announcement that she intends to ban private prisons, just as CoreCivic was getting ready to refinance roughly $325 million of debt in June, Bloomberg noted.

CoreCivic had reassured investors that it could draw on a revolver to help pay off a $325 million bond due in April 2020.

Citizens spokesman Peter Lucht did not comment on CoreCivic but said in an email to Bloomberg that the bank is committed to providing financing to companies that operate in a "socially responsible manner."

CoreCivic and Bank of America representatives did not comment on the matter, while Nomura did not answer requests for comment sent by Bloomberg.