CHICAGO — Chicago is planning several bond sales in the coming months, starting on Tuesday with its nearly $1 billion new-money and refunding O’Hare International Airport-related revenue deal that’s been on hold due to interest rate conditions since mid-November.
Mayor Richard Daley yesterday introduced ordinances at a City Council meeting seeking approval to sell up to $80 million of tender notes. He also introduced an ordinance that preserves the city’s ability to use proceeds of a general obligation sale of up to $425 million planned for later this year to reimburse itself for expenses now being incurred. Both measures will come up for Finance Committee review next month and need approval from the full council.
The team selected for the tender note deal has UBS Securities LLC in the senior manager role, with Guzman & Co. and Grigsby & Associates Inc. as co-managers, Kutak Rock LLP and Sanchez & Daniels as co-bond counsel, and Peck, Shaffer & Williams and the Hardwick Law Firm as co-underwriters’ counsel. The issue is expected to price in February.
The ordinance authorizing the actual GO sale won’t be submitted to the council for several months, but the ordinance proposed yesterday enables the city to extend the time during which it uses proceeds, according to Finance Department spokeswoman Wendy Abrams.
Proceeds provide funds for ongoing capital projects and school construction. Both deals were included in Daley’s $5.9 billion 2008 budget. The city’s GOs are rated in the low double-A to mid-double-A range.
Meanwhile, senior manager Lehman Brothers is hoping to bring the O’Hare sale to market as soon as Tuesday, although that depends on interest rates. The city initially planned to sell the bonds in November but decided to hold it due to a rise in interest rates over the fall that would have cut the savings of the refunding piece.
The City Council approved the airport sale last spring, but Chicago held off on issuing the debt until the Federal Aviation Administration’s approval of its application to finance various projects with passenger facility charges it collects on the price of a ticket. The city also needed permission to use $270 million to help cover cost overruns it has incurred due to delays in land acquisition and demolition because of ongoing litigation.
The deal includes a mix of new-money and refunding bonds, including $784 million of bonds backed by a third-lien general airport revenue bond pledge and $188.6 million of bonds backed by a passenger facility bond pledge. The city expects a portion or all of the deal to carry insurance from Financial Security Assurance, Abrams said. The airport has $3.6 billion of outstanding third-lien general airport revenue bonds, $720 million of second-lien bonds, and $73 million of first-lien bonds. The airport has $645 million of second-lien PFC-backed bonds.