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If the “widely anticipated” decision by Deutsche Bank to stop financing manufactured housing (MH) dealers proves true, it could amount to a body slam for the already reeling MH sector and, specifically, for key players like Fleetwood Enterprises Inc., according to The Business Press, a weekly affiliate of The Press-Enterprise, Riverside, Calif.
Deutsche’s pullout at this point, for the record, is only rumored.
“Riverside-based Fleetwood supplies a majority of its manufactured homes to independent dealers which rely on loans from specialty financiers like Germany-based Deutsche Bank AG,” states Press-Enterprise reporter Robert Chacon. “The bank is looking to sell its North American asset finance business within the next two months, according to industry analysts.
“ ‘Deutsche Bank is the largest remaining lender for dealer inventories of manufactured homes and manufacturers are bracing for a rash of dealer and plant closings if a buyer isn’t found, analysts said. If indeed a buyer is not found… it would be another massive shock to manufactured housing,’ ” states John Diffendal, an analyst with BBNT&T Capital Markets.