The Nashville Symphony and its creditors reached a deal Friday (June 21) to restructure the nonprofit organization’s debt, to avoid a June 28 foreclosure and to keep the Schermerhorn Symphony Center from being auctioned. Banks, led by Bank of America, will forgive and write off a large portion of the debt used to build the Schermerhorn, while the symphony will restructure its operations in exchange for new lending terms, according to The City Paper.
In March, the symphony association opted to not renew a letter of credit, when banks refused to negotiate better terms for the debt. Bank of America, holding more than $80 million in debt related to the building of the Schermerhorn, served notice of foreclosure earlier this month. The banks’ recent foreclosure notice has now been withdrawn.
“After months of discussion with our lenders, we are pleased to have reached a comprehensive resolution that represents the best path forward for all parties involved,” said Ed Goodrich, Chairman of the Nashville Symphony Association, in a statement. “With a healthier balance sheet, the Symphony will be in a better position to pursue its cultural mission of engaging the community, enriching audiences and shaping cultural life through musical excellence and educational vision. We deeply appreciate the professional and constructive approach of our bank lenders in the complex negotiations, and we are grateful to our generous patrons, the city of Nashville and the Mayor’s office. All of these interested parties have contributed significantly to the resolution of this matter, and without their support, this settlement would not have been possible.
“Over the past few months, the Symphony has taken steps to reduce expenditures, increase revenue and drive contributions in an effort to strengthen its bottom line. Reaching this agreement with our lenders is a major milestone in our restructuring process. However, the Symphony still has a lot of work to do to further reduce costs and will continue to need significant financial support from our donors in the years ahead to remain sustainable over the long term. We are committed to taking all possible measures to ensure our financial stability, and we are confident that the Middle Tennessee community will rise to the occasion to help this wonderful arts organization survive and thrive.”
“We are pleased that we have been able to reach this agreement with the Nashville Symphony so that it can continue to play its vital and unique role in this community for generations to come,” said John Stein, Nashville market president for Bank of America. “It is because we all recognize the orchestra’s importance to this community that we were all able to come together and work so hard to make this happen.”
“Throughout the course of these negotiations, we have been fully committed to serving everyone in Middle Tennessee with a dynamic array of programs, both at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center and in the community,” said Alan Valentine, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Nashville Symphony. “On behalf of everyone at the Symphony, I want to thank our patrons and donors for their unwavering support throughout the negotiation process. Their continued loyalty and generosity will be more important than ever as the Symphony moves forward. We would also like to express our thanks to the members of the Symphony staff who have had to make do with less along the path to this resolution. Their continued leadership and commitment to this great institution will help us to remain an integral part of Nashville’s music scene.”
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