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VFC Partners Completes $185.5 Million Bond Issuance

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MINNEAPOLIS and WACO, Texas, Sept. 30, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Värde Partners, Inc. ("Värde") and FirstCity Financial Corporation ("FirstCity") announced that certain jointly owned entities (the "VFC Partners") completed a $185.5 million private bond issuance. The deal priced at par and was well-received with strong participation from leading institutional investors.

The securitization follows Värde's announcement in May 2013 that certain funds managed by Värde acquired FirstCity. Värde and FirstCity created VFC Partners in 2009 and have invested approximately $1 billion in small balance commercial real estate loans during that timeframe.

The securitization - VFC Series 2013-1 - is the first securitization executed by the VFC Partners. The bonds are backed by a pool of seasoned performing and non-performing secured and unsecured commercial loans and real estate owned properties ("REO"). These underlying assets were purchased by VFC Partners from banks, special servicers and other financial institutions. The transaction was executed through a private offering via Rule 144A.

"Our ability to attract strong interest from significant institutional investors in this transaction underscores the strength of FirstCity's track record. FirstCity has been a significant participant in the NPL market as an experienced, fair, and discreet resolution source for holders of distressed assets for over 20 years," said FirstCity COO, James C. Holmes.

"We believe that FirstCity has a best-in-class acquisition and special servicing platform for commercial and real estate loans. The strength of these platforms helped drive market demand for this offering," said Värde Partners Founding Partner and FirstCity Board Chair, Marcia L. Page.

FirstCity Servicing Corporation will serve as servicer for VFC 2013-1. The notes are rated by Fitch Ratings as BBB-. All notes were priced at par with a coupon of 3.13%.

Amherst Securities was lead manager and book runner.

About Värde Partners, Inc.

Värde Partners, Inc. is a registered investment advisor focused on alternatives markets with over $7 billion of assets under management. The firm employs a credit-oriented, value-based approach to investing globally across a broad array of segments and asset types, including public opportunities — stressed and distressed corporate debt , special situations and structured products; and private opportunities — real estate; non-performing and sub-performing loan portfolios, residential mortgages, control-oriented corporate investments and transportation. The firm employs over 160 people with offices in Minneapolis, London and Singapore.

About FirstCity Financial Corporation

FirstCity Financial Corporation is a diversified financial services company with operations dedicated primarily to distressed asset acquisitions and special situations investments. FirstCity has offices in the U.S. and affiliate organizations in Europe and Latin America. As of September 2013, FirstCity has 116 employees; and its U.S. servicing portfolio contains approximately 2,000 active assets with an unpaid principal balance of approximately $1 billion. FirstCity maintains a positive rating with Standard & Poor's Ratings Service since 1996, and is currently rated as a Commercial Finance Special Servicer as "Above Average with a Stable Outlook."

CONTACT: For FirstCity Financial Corporation: Jim Holmes, 254-761-2800

Source:FirstCity Financial Corporation;Varde Partners, Inc.