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Superdome Deal On Tap

Louisiana's State Bond Commission will consider at its monthly meeting on Thursday a proposed memorandum of understanding between Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District and Bank of America Merrill Lynch regarding the district's plan to refund bonds issued in 2006.

The proposed 2013 issue will include $315 million of tax-exempt refunding bonds, $55 million of taxable refunding bonds, and $60 million of subordinate taxable bonds.

In addition to the refunding, the 2013 sale will provide proceeds for swap termination payments and payments to the Internal Revenue Service under the Tax-Exempt Bonds Voluntary Closing Agreement Program.

The 2006 bonds included advance refunding and new-money debt for repairs to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina damaged the stadium in 2005. A $55.9 million taxable component provided operational capital for the district.

The state bought the outstanding variable-rates bonds in 2008 when the auctions failed, and must refund the bonds by the end of the year or keep them until maturity.

The IRS agreed to allow Louisiana to hold the tax-exempt debt for three years, but the bonds will lose their tax-exempt status if not refunded by the end of 2012.

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