The state of Vermont is expected to bring to market a four-series $135.6 million general obligation offering next week in two parts.
The $25 million Series 2012A Vermont citizen bonds and $72.6 million Series 2012D refunding bonds will be offered in a negotiated sale on Monday. A competitive issue of $28 million Series 2012B and $10 million Series C bonds is scheduled for Wednesday.
Vermont residents and businesses will be given priority to purchase the citizen bonds in $1,000 increments during a retail order period on Monday.
According to a recent statement from the office of the state treasurer, previous citizen bond offerings have sold out in a matter of hours.
Deputy treasurer Stephen Wisloski says that this year’s offering of citizen bonds is also projected to boost high demand among investors, especially since Vermont has not issued any new debt in more than a year.
The sale next week was initially scheduled for last October, but was postponed after Hurricane Irene caused widespread damage in the state.
Wisloski said it made sense to hold off on the offering and evaluate Vermont’s capital needs.
A recent report from Fitch Ratings said it does not appear that the state’s revenue or economic performance in fiscal 2012 will be significantly affected by the storm’s impact.
Proceeds from the Series A, B and C bonds will be used for various capital purposes, including school and college construction, pollution control and safe drinking water.
Vermont aims to take advantage of low interest rates with its Series D issuance by refunding certain of its outstanding general obligation bonds.
“Fortunately for Vermont’s taxpayers, we are entering the market at a time when interest rates are the lowest they have been in more than 60 years,” Gov. Beth Pearce said in a statement.
Proceeds from the refunding will be held in escrow until the redemption dates of each series of the refunded debt.
Wisloski says Vermont expects around $5 million in net present-value interest rate savings.
The bonds received triple-A ratings from Moody’s Investors Service and Fitch Ratings and a AA-plus from Standard & Poor’s.
Fitch said in its report that the high rating reflects Vermont’s low debt burden and its conservative financial management and maintenance of sound reserves.
The Series A, B and D bonds will be tax-exempt and subject to redemption. The Series C bonds will be federally taxable and not subject to redemption.
Underwriters for the negotiated sale are Citi, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Wells Fargo Securities.
Bond counsel is Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP. Underwriters’ counsel for the negotiated sale is Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo PC.
Public Resources Advisory Group is the financial advisor.