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Potato Company's Bonds to Price

Moody's Investors Service assigned an Aa2 long-term and VMIG 1 short-term letter of credit-backed ratings ahead of plans by J.R. Simplot Corp. to sell $45 million in bonds to fund a solid waste disposal project.

The Industrial Development Corporation of Power County, Idaho is expected to issue on Dec. 28 the limited obligation Idaho solid waste disposal revenue bonds on behalf of the Boise, Idaho based agricultural company best known for growing potatoes that supply french fries to McDonald's.

The proceeds will be used to construct, reconstruct, improve or extend the solid waste disposal facilities at its Don Fertilizer Plant located on the outskirts of Pocatello, Idaho.

The bonds will bear interest at a weekly rate.

The bonds will be issued in denominations of $100,000 and sold to no more than 35 experienced investors.

The ratings were based on a letter of credit provided by Rabobank Nederland, according to the Moody's report released Dec. 14.

Atlanta, Ga.-based SunTrust Robinson Humphrey is the underwriter and remarketing agent for the bonds.

Analysts also cited the following in assigning the rating: the structure and legal protections of the transaction which provide for timely debt service and purchase price payments to bondholders and Moody's evaluation of the credit quality of the bank issuing the letter of credit.

Rabobank Nederland's long-term and short-term ratings are currently Aa2 and P-1, respectively.

Since the ratings are based on the bank's rating, the bonds would be upgraded if the bank's rating went up and the inverse would apply if the bank's rating dropped.

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