CHICAGO - As Evansville, Ind.-based Deaconess Health System prepares to issue roughly $100 million in fixed- and variable-rate bonds, finance officials say they are hoping to take advantage of the growing appetite for tax-exempt health care debt among retail buyers.

Deaconess plans to sell $55.2 million in fixed-rate bonds and $40 million in variable-rate bonds with the floating-rate piece being backed by a letter of credit from Bank of America. It will be the provider's first bond sale since 2004.

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