After converting $524.7 million of auction-rate securities beginning tomorrow, the District of Columbia on Friday will convert $24.3 million of ballpark revenue bonds to variable-rate demand obligations backed by a letter of credit from Bank of America NA.
The ballpark bonds are the last portion of about $550 million of ARS the district plans to convert this week. The city also refunded $252.5 million of VRDOs backed by letters of credit last week.
This week’s conversions, combined with last week’s VRDO refunding, total about $800 million, or 13% of the district’s total outstanding debt, according to Treasurer Lasana Mack.
The Series 2006B-2 ARS are ballpark revenue bonds issued to finance a new stadium for Major League Baseball’s Washington Nationals. Thedebt, insured by Financial Guaranty Insurance Co., had interest rates peak as high as 14% during the auction-rate market collapse, according to Mack.
The financial advisers on the deal are Public Financial Management Inc. and Phoenix Capital Partners LLP. Banc of America Securities LLC is the remarketing agent. Bond counsel is Squire, Sanders & Dempsey LLP. Disclosure counsel is Hawkins Delafield & Wood LLP.
Moody’s Investors Service will rate the deal Aaa, Standard & Poor’s will rate it AA-plus, and Fitch Ratings will give it a AA, according to the preliminary official statement for the transaction.
The district still has about $50 million of ARS that are insured by Financial Security Assurance Inc., which has so far has managed to keep its triple-A ratings in the aftermath of the subprime mortgage crisis. The securities are performing well and will not be converted, Mack said.