Ziegler Closes Sponsorship Transition for Peterson Meadows

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Ziegler, a specialty investment bank, is pleased to announce the successful closing of a sponsorship transition for Peterson Meadows Retirement Community, a Wesley Willows Community. Peterson Meadows was incorporated as an Illinois not-for-profit corporation in 1991 and the community opened its doors in 1993.

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This transition of sponsorship is an ideal story of two organizations with clearly defined missions, strategies to execute and tenacity.

Ziegler, a specialty investment bank, is pleased to announce the successful closing of a sponsorship transition for Peterson Meadows Retirement Community, a Wesley Willows Community. Peterson Meadows was incorporated as an Illinois not-for-profit corporation in 1991 and the community opened its doors in 1993. Located on a 34-acre campus on the southeast side of Rockford, Illinois, Peterson Meadows is a continuing care retirement community (CCRC) offering 75 independent living apartments and 59 independent living duplex units. Ziegler underwrote a bond issue in 1992 to finance the construction of what was then a new senior living community in Rockford.

Peterson Meadows was sponsored by Lutheran Social Services of Illinois (LSSI), founded in 1867 and the largest statewide faith-based social service provider in Illinois. LSSI’s social services include: behavioral health services; children’s community services; nursing and community services; prisoner and family ministries; and affordable housing for seniors. In 2012 alone, LSSI served over 100,000 individuals across its multiple programs–mostly children and seniors–half earning $5,000 or less annually and 80% below the poverty line; most of which were non-Lutheran.

LSSI determined their core strength and opportunity for advancing their mission is with their social service programs, including helping people in poverty and those in crises, while also bringing families together through their multiple programs. In addition, recent operating results challenged Peterson Meadows’ ability to meet debt service obligations. For these reasons, the LSSI Board enlisted Ziegler to find a mission compatible not-for-profit sponsor that would continue the mission of serving the residents at Peterson Meadows. Eric Draut, LSSI Executive Chairman, said “Although this was a difficult decision for LSSI, it was the right one in light of our continuing mission and desire to expand other ministries. Securing a strong mission compatible sponsor such as Wesley Willows, affirms our commitment to the residents of Peterson Meadows and our commitment to our mission of serving. The Ziegler team understood both the business case and the mission case for the sponsorship change and supported the execution of both.”

Wesley Willows, a not-for-profit single-site CCRC in Rockford, was determined to be the most compatible fit. Wesley Willows has a congruous mission, culture, and vision along with a strong history of operational performance. Extending sponsorship to Peterson Meadows affirmed Wesley Willows’ vision for growth and commitment to the Rockford community and gave the organization a presence on both sides of town. Bill Pratt, CEO of Wesley Willows, said, “Although the opportunity to become the sponsor of Peterson Meadows had not been anticipated, our ability to extend our sponsorship to Peterson Meadows enables us to grow significantly while continuing to serve the Rockford, Illinois community.”

Ziegler served as a strategic advisor to LSSI (Peterson Meadows) throughout the affiliation process with Wesley Willows. Various complicating factors had to be addressed: fixed-rate bonds outstanding at Peterson Meadows held almost exclusively by retail bond holders, and Peterson Meadows 501(c)(3) status obtained through a group letter ruling, which challenged Wesley Willows’ ability to seamlessly step into the existing corporate structure. The transition process required significant interaction with both organizations to maintain clear and consistent messaging to the local community, staff, and residents given the sensitive nature of the transaction. To this end, Ziegler, LSSI, and Wesley Willows worked diligently to achieve this successful outcome.

“This transition of sponsorship is an ideal story of two organizations with clearly defined missions, strategies to execute and tenacity. LSSI determined that to best fulfill their mission, transitioning Peterson Meadows to an excellent provider, Wesley Willows, would enable LSSI to fulfill their commitment to social services. Wesley Willows fulfills their commitment to Rockford and their mission of serving seniors and executing their initiative for growth, now becoming a system,” states Rebecca Neth Townsend, senior vice president in Ziegler’s Investment Banking practice.

Ziegler is one of the nation’s leading underwriters of financing for not-for-profit senior living providers. Ziegler offers creative, tailored solutions to its senior living clientele, including investment banking, financial risk management, merger and acquisition services, investment management, seed capital, FHA/HUD, capital and strategic planning as well as senior living research, education, and communication.

For more information about Ziegler, please visit us at http://www.Ziegler.com.

About Ziegler:
Since 1902, Ziegler has grown to become a full-service, specialty investment bank and broker-dealer. Ziegler provides its clients with capital raising, strategic advisory services, equity and fixed income sales & trading, wealth management, and research. Specializing in the healthcare, senior living, education, and religion sectors, Ziegler is committed to advancing the health, wealth and well-being of our clients.

Certain comments in this news release represent forward-looking statements made pursuant to the provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. This client’s experience may not be representative of the experience of other clients, nor is it indicative of future performance or success.

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Leslie Dunham
Ziegler
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