The Wisconsin Health and Educational Facilities Authority yesterday signed off on Mercy Alliance’s $48 million bond sale scheduled for this week.

Moody’s Investors Service assigned an A2, affecting $183 million of debt issued by Mercy Alliance, previously known as Mercy Hospital of Janesville. Proceeds will refund debt sold in 2003 and 2007, and fund various projects.

The system’s strengths include limited local competition and a successful regional growth strategy. Cash flow has mostly grown over the last decade, and Mercy also will reduce its variable-rate exposure. Challenges include a modest balance sheet and inpatient admission base, and growth plans that limit the likelihood of balance sheet improvements.

Ziegler Capital Markets Group will be the deal’s underwriter.

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