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PACEfunding to issue debut residential PACE deal

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PACEfunding, a California-based residential Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) finance firm, is looking to drum up interest at next month’s SFIG conference at Las Vegas for its debut securitization.

It's expected the deal will be launched immediately after the conference and could close in March, two sources familiar with the offering said.

The transaction, which will be backed by residential PACE liens, will be privately placed and in the range of $50m, said one of the sources. The person added that the deal was in the early stages of marketing and that PACEfunding may also seek a rating on the deal. 

“PACEfunding has grown significantly over the last 12 months. Right now, it doesn’t seem that its originations can support a $100m securitization —hopefully that comes with time,” the person said.

In June 2017, the company hired James Vergara as managing director and head of capital markets from Spruce Finance, where he focused on PACE financing, according to his LinkedIn profile. Vergara’s past experience includes tobacco asset securitizations, in addition to municipal financing and derivatives.

Renew Financial and Renovate America are two issuers that have dominated the residential PACE ABS market since 2014. Ygrene Energy Fund has also tapped the securitization market, though its deals have been backed by a blended pool of residential and commercial PACE liens. The three issuers issued a total of $1.5bn in securitizations in 2017.

Deal flow and investor participation in the PACE asset class have surged in the past 18 months, leading to the emergence of a small but growing secondary market for the bonds — something market watchers say will be critical to growing the base for PACE ABS.

Sources said that, given the interest in PACE securitization, deal sizes from seasoned PACE issuers this year could be larger than in previous years.

PACEfunding declined to comment on the upcoming deal.