The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority won The Bond Buyer’s 2009 Deal of the Year award, presented last night, for its $963 million Dulles Toll Road revenue bond issue that helped raise an important part of the funding to pay for the extension of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority rail system to Dulles Airport.
“We felt this deal deserved recognition for its creativity in deciding to capture the revenue generated by an existing toll highway and using it to pay for an expansion of transit at a time when funding for such projects is harder and harder to identify,” said Amy B. Resnick, editor in chief of The Bond Buyer, who presented the award.
The 2009 awards, which considered deals that priced between Oct. 1, 2008, and Sept. 30, 2009, drew more than 60 nominations for transactions ranging in size from several billion dollars to just a few million.
The awards program, held in downtown Manhattan at the New York Academy of Sciences, also raised $5,000 for the Smile Train, the world’s largest charity providing cleft lip and cleft palate surgery to children in need around the world.
The ceremony also presented a new award to the federal government for the market-changing innovations — including Build America Bonds and Qualified School Construction Bonds — contained in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Aaron Klein, deputy assistant Treasury secretary for economic policy, was scheduled to accept the award.
The newspaper also presented its award for nontraditional public finance transactions, which was open to deals that did not use traditional municipal securities.
The award, for the first time, was presented to a transaction that did not include any new securities at all. Instead it went to Detroit for the restructuring of a swap to add a pledge of casino tax payments. Had it not been accomplished it would have cost the hard-luck city $400 million for a termination payment that it did not have the resources to pay.
Finalists for the Deal of the Year were selected from each region of the U.S. as covered by the paper in categories for both large and a small issuers determined by gross revenue of the issuer or the entity financed in its most recent fiscal year. Small deals are those completed by issuers with annual revenue of $70 million or less, or beneficiaries with those revenue levels in the case of conduit deals.
Large deals were those with revenue above $70 million. All finalists were in the running for the overall Deal of the Year award.
The entries were evaluated by The Bond Buyer’s editors and bureau chiefs, who looked for innovation, risk taking, the ability for a deal to serve as a model for other financings, and the public purpose for which the transaction’s proceeds were used.
The other regional winners were:
The District of Columbia for its $801 million of income-tax secured revenue bonds.
The Finance Authority of Maine for its $14.5 million of taxable waste motor-oil revenue bonds.
The Dallas County Hospital District for its $705 million deal to build a new Parkland Memorial Hospital.
Colorado for its $87.15 million of Series 2009A Building Excellent Schools Today certificates of participation that benefited three small school districts in the state’s San Luis Valley.
Iowa for its $602.38 million of IJOBS bonds.
The Wisconsin Health and Educational Facilities Authority for its Saint John’s Communities Inc. revenue bond sale of $84.84 million of tax-exempt fixed-rate bonds for the Saint John’s Communities continuing-care retirement community in Milwaukee.
The Wilkes County, Ga., Hospital Authority for its $13 million of taxable BABs for the Wills Memorial Hospital Project.
The San Diego Unified School District for its $38.84 million general obligation QSCB election of Series 2008B tax-credit bonds.
The Chawanakee Unified School District of Madera, Calif., for its $54.96 million of Series 2009A COPs and $13.8 million of Series 2009B COPs for the Minarets High School Project.