An American Airlines flight is welcomed at Miami International Airport. American and its affiliates are the dominant carriers with a combined market share of 67% at MIA.

BRADENTON, Fla. - Miami-Dade County plans to price $750 million of airport refunding bonds on Dec. 3.

Proceeds will refund portions of 2002A, 2003A, 2004A, 2004B, 2005C, and 2007B bonds issued for capital improvements at Miami International Airport.

The deal is structured with $608.2 million of aviation revenue refunding bonds subject to the alternative minimum tax and $141.35 million of non-AMT revenue refunding bonds.

Serial maturities between 2015 and 2027 are anticipated, in addition to term bonds in 2036 and 2037, according to offering documents. The bonds are being issued for debt service savings within existing maturities.

The deal was expected to achieve present value savings of $67.34 million or 8.29% of the refunded bonds as of Nov. 20, according to Anne Syrcle Lee, chief financial officer of the county's aviation department.

The county requires a minimum of 5% savings for refundings.

The bonds are rated A by both Fitch Ratings and Standard & Poor's, and A2 by Moody's Investors Service.

All three rating agencies have stable outlooks on the airport, and affirmed their A and A2 ratings on its $5.74 billion in outstanding debt.

Analysts said their ratings are based on south Florida's position as a strong domestic and international market for travel, including its status as a gateway to Latin America, and historically good enplanement trends. They also noted challenges due to competition from Fort Lauderdale International Airport.

Moody's said MIA is also challenged because of its high leverage metrics that result in airline costs that are at the high range of international airports it rates.

MIA's enplanement activity continued to demonstrate passenger growth in fiscal 2014 growth increasing 1.7% to 20.2 million enplanements, according to Fitch.

The airport is served by a diverse mix of airlines, including 10 scheduled domestic carriers, 41 scheduled foreign flag airlines, and 25 all cargo carriers.

American Airlines, which is completing its operational merger with US Airways, and its affiliate American Eagle are the dominant carriers with a combined market share of 67%.

First Southwest Co. and Frasca & Associates LLC are financial advisors for the offering.

Wells Fargo Securities LLC is the book-runner.

Other underwriters on the deal are Barclays, Blaylock Beal Van LLC, Cabrera Capital Markets LLC, Citi, Drexel Hamilton LLC, Estrada Hinojosa & Co. Inc., Jefferies, Loop Capital Markets, Ramirez & Co. Inc., RBC Capital Markets, Rice Financial Products Co., Siebert Brandford Shank & Co. LLC, and Southwest Securities Inc.

Greenberg Traurig PA and Edwards & Associates PA are co-bond counsel. Hunton & Williams LLP and Thomas H. Williams Jr. PL are co-disclosure counsel. Bryant Miller Olive PA is underwriters' counsel.

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