CHICAGO — The Illinois Finance Authority board Tuesday signed off on Advocate Health Care Network’s sale of up to $533 million of new-money and refunding bonds, and the newly merged Central DuPage Health-Delnor Health System’s $190 million direct-purchase issue.
Oak Brook, Ill.-based Advocate’s deal would raise around $200 million of new money and give the provider room to refund $325 million of debt for savings, said Dominic Nakis, chief financial officer for the state’s largest nonprofit health care system.
The new money would finance projects at several campuses, with about $160 million toward construction of a new pavilion at its Christ Medical Center in suburban Oak Lawn.
The system expects to receive the required certificate of need for the project from state regulators in August, paving the way for a September sale.
The refunding is dependent on interest rates and the structure is still under review.
“We are looking at a mix of fixed-rate, variable-rate and direct-purchase” securities, Nakis said Tuesday.
The finance team is reviewing bank proposals on a direct-purchase piece. “We are in the process of reviewing the proposals we received and the rates are very attractive,” he said.
Citi is serving as the senior manager with Loop Capital Markets LLC and Cabrera Capital Markets LLC acting as co-managers. Chapman and Cutler LLP is bond counsel. Kaufman Hall & Associates is financial adviser.
Advocate operates 10 acute-care hospitals in the Chicago area and two children’s hospitals, along with various home health and hospice centers, outpatient centers, and physician services. It holds a leading market share of 15.4% in the Chicago region.
The system carries ratings in the mid-double-A category from all three rating agencies on nearly $1 billion of debt, and top short-term marks on floating-rate debt for which it provides self-liquidity.
Earlier this year, Fitch Ratings affirmed its AA rating, saying it reflects Advocate’s low debt burden, strong operating profitability and leading market position.
In its affirmation of the Aa2 credit last month, Moody’s Investors Service said the system benefits from sustained improvement in operating margins, moderate debt levels, a strong and growing investment portfolio, and a well-funded pension plan.
A spree of local hospital and system mergers have occurred over the last year as facilities seek to improve their competitive edge to deal with operational changes required under new national health-care reforms.
The nation’s largest nonprofit health care provider, St. Louis-based Ascension Health, will acquire Alexian Brothers Health System, which is based in the Chicago suburb of Arlington Heights.
Novi, Mich.-based Trinity Health recently closed on its acquisition of Chicago’s Loyola University Health System, and Mokena, Ill.-based Provena Health and Chicago-based Resurrection Health Care recently announced they had reached a merger agreement to create what will be Illinois’ largest Catholic health care network.
Another recently merged system — Central DuPage and Delnor — received final approval from the IFA board Tuesday for their direct-purchase transaction of up to $190 million of debt to refund floating-rate securities previously issued by both systems.
The upcoming deal will refund $58 million of Delnor’s Series 2008A and $127 million of CDH’s 2004A floating-rate bonds.
JPMorgan Chase Bank will purchase the unrated bonds from the systems, which are still in the process of merging their finances.
Central DuPage and Delnor closed on their union at the end of March. Delnor is a 159-bed system based in Geneva, Ill.
Central DuPage Health’s main facility is the 313-bed Central DuPage Hospital in Winfield. Because of the ongoing consolidation of the two providers’ finances, the bonds will be sold in separate series and will carry the repayment pledge from each respective obligated group.
The systems will keep a floating-rate
debt structure and expect to see a slight reduction in their interest rate, but the primary motive is to lower CDH-Delnor’s remarketing and bank enhancement risks. Jones Day is bond counsel.
Combined, the two systems carry a total of $608 million of debt, including about $200 million in floating-rate mode.
Central DuPage carries ratings of AA from Fitch and Standard & Poor’s while Delnor is rated A by Standard & Poor’s.