7 CFR 1717.657 - Investments above the 15 percent level by certain borrowers not exempt under § 1717.656(a).
(a) General. (1) This section applies only to borrowers that are in compliance with all provisions of their mortgage, loan contract, and any other agreements with RUS and that do not qualify for an exemption from RUS investment controls under § 1717.656(a).
(2) Nothing in this section shall in any way affect the Administrator's authority to exercise approval rights over investments, loans, and guarantees made by a borrower that is not in compliance with all provisions of its mortgage, loan contract and any other agreements with RUS.
(b) Distribution borrowers. Distribution borrowers not exempt from RUS investment controls under § 1717.656(a) may not make investments, loans and guarantees in an aggregate amount in excess of 15 percent of total utility plant. Above the 15 percent level, such borrowers will be restricted to excluded investments, loans and guarantees as defined in § 1717.655. (However, they are eligible to ask RUS to exclude a portion of their investments under the conditions set forth in paragraph (d) of this section.)
(c) Power supply borrowers. (1) Power supply borrowers not exempt from RUS investment controls under § 1717.656(a) may request approval to exceed the 15 percent level if all of the following criteria are met:
(i) Satisfactory evidence has been provided that the borrower is in compliance with all provisions of its RUS mortgage, RUS loan contract, and any other agreements with RUS;
(ii) The borrower is not in financial workout and has not had its government debt restructured;
(iii) The borrower has equity equal to at least 5 percent of its total assets; and
(iv) After approval of the investment, loan or guarantee, the aggregate of the borrower's investments, loans and guarantees will not exceed 20 percent of the borrower's total utility plant.
(2) Borrower requests for approval to exceed the 15 percent level will be considered on a case by case basis. The requests must be made in writing.
(3) In considering borrower requests, the Administrator will take the following factors into consideration:
(i) The repayment of all loans secured under the RUS mortgage will continue to be assured, and loan security must continue to be reasonably adequate, even if the entire investment or loan is lost or the borrower is required to perform for the entire amount of the guarantee. These risks will be considered along with all other risks facing the borrower, whether or not related to the investment, loan or guarantee;
(ii) In the case of investments, the investment must be made in an entity separate from the borrower, such as a subsidiary, whereby the borrower is protected from any liabilities incurred by the separate entity, unless the borrower demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Administrator that making the investment directly rather than through a separate entity will present no substantial risk to the borrower in addition to the possibility of losing all or part of the original investment;
(iii) The borrower must be economically and financially sound as indicated by its costs of operation, competitiveness, operating TIER and operating DSC, physical condition of the plant, ratio of equity to total assets, ratio of net utility plant to long-term debt, and other factors; and
(iv) Other factors affecting the security and repayment of government debt, as determined by the Administrator on a case by case basis.
(4) If the Administrator approves an investment, loan or guarantee, such investment, loan or guarantee will continue to be included when calculating the borrower's ratio of aggregate investments, loans and guarantees to total utility plant.
(d) Distribution and power supply borrowers. If the aggregate of the investments, loans and guarantees of a distribution or power supply borrower exceeds 15 percent of the borrower's total utility plant as a result of the cumulative profits or margins, net of losses, earned on said transactions over the past 10 calendar years (i.e., the sum of all profits earned during the 10 years on all transactions - including interest earned on cash accounts, loans, and similar transactions - less the sum of all losses experienced on all transactions during the 10 years) then:
(1) The borrower will not be in default of the RUS loan contract or RUS mortgage with respect to required approval of investments, loans and guarantees, provided that the borrower had not made additional net investments, loans or guarantees without approval after reaching the 15 percent level; and
(2) At the request of the borrower, the Administrator in his or her sole discretion may decide to exclude up to the amount of net profits or margins earned on the borrower's investments, loans and guarantees during the past 10 calendar years, if the Administrator determines that such exclusion will not increase loan security risks. The borrower must provide documentation satisfactory to the Administrator as to the current status of its investments, loans and guarantees and the net profits earned during the past 10 years. Any exclusion approved by the Administrator may or may not reduce the level of investments, loans and guarantees to or below the 15 percent level. If such exclusion does not reduce the level to or below the 15 percent level, RUS will notify the borrower in writing that it must reduce or restructure its investments, loans and guarantees to a level of not more than 15 percent of total utility plant. If the borrower does not come within the 15 percent level within a reasonable period of time determined by the Administrator, which shall not exceed 12 months from the date the borrower was notified of the required action, then, upon written notice from RUS, the borrower shall be in default of its RUS loan contract and mortgage.