CHICAGO - CoxHealth of Springfield, Mo., enters the market today with the first piece of a new-money and refunding transaction for $265 million that will finance a series of expansion projects and restructure outstanding insured floating-rate bonds hit with higher rates due to insurer downgrades.

Fitch Ratings assigned an A rating to the issue and Moody's Investors Service assigned an A2. The ratings impact a total of $340 million of debt, including the new money from the upcoming issue. The Missouri Health and Educational Facilities Authority is serving as the issuer on CoxHealth's behalf. Merrill Lynch & Co. and Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. are the underwriters and Gilmore & Bell PC is bond counsel.

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