New Jersey is looking for underwriters to work on a school construction bond refinancing that officials anticipate bringing to market this fall.

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority issues school construction bonds on behalf of the state that are secured with the state's appropriation pledge. Officials will select a senior manager along with co-senior manager and co-manager positions. Submissions are due Nov. 10.

The EDA aims to lower debt-service costs on its school construction bonds. It had $8.2 billion of school construction debt outstanding as of June 30. The state in fiscal 2011 will pay $303.9 million in principal and interest payments on the school bonds. Fiscal 2011 began July 1.

"The NJEDA is considering the issuance of one or more tranches of school facilities refunding bonds during fiscal year 2011," according to the request for proposals. "The actual size, type and number of transactions will be the result of then-current market interest rates and the winning firm's proposed plan of finance. Extension of maturities is not allowed."

Interested banks must detail any New Jersey, EDA, or state-appropriation debt purchased by the banks in the secondary market from Oct. 1, 2008 through Oct. 1, 2010. In addition, the RFP asks for information on any bids that investment banks made since June 2009 on competitive bond and notes sales for state-backed and general obligation debt that the authority issued.

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