BRADENTON, Fla. - The Orlando-Orange County Expressway Authority is preparing to refund $499 million of variable-rate revenue bonds after negotiating a first-of-its kind forward agreement with Ambac Assurance Corp. to continue wrapping the bonds after several direct pay letters of credit expire.

The variable-rate refunding bonds are expected to price May 1. Proceeds will refund Series 2005A-E bonds currently insured by Ambac but which are trading off because of the insurer's rating downgrades, said Nita Crowder, the authority's chief financial officer.

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