DALLAS — The North Texas Tollway Authority yesterday named its underwriting team for $900 million of bonds expected to be issued in the next 90 days, including a $500 million deal that will be the first of its kind in Texas.
Chief financial officer Janice Davis said the bonds would be issued in two offerings to raise funds for the new State Highway 161 toll highway that the board last month agreed to complete and manage.
The first deal, at an estimated $500 million, would represent the first bonds from a regional toll authority to carry backing by the Texas Department of Transportation.
TxDOT’s supervisory board, the Texas Transportation Commission, agreed last month to guarantee the bonds to make the project affordable and less risky for the NTTA.
The bonds are expected to carry the state’s double-A rather than the authority’s A-minus senior-lien rating from Standard & Poor’s. Moody’s Investors Service rates the senior-lien bonds A2.
The second deal, which is not expected to come the same day, will be $400 million of revenue bonds that will carry the NTTA’s subordinate-lien ratings of BBB-plus from Standard & Poor’s and A3 from Moody’s.
NTTA chairman Paul Wageman said the board may consider using Build America Bonds but is awaiting a recommendation from its finance team.
The board yesterday extended its contract with longtime financial adviser RBC Capital Markets.
Underwriters on the first deal will be led by Citi as senior manager, with Barclays Capital, BOSC Inc., Estrada Hinojosa & Co. Loop Capital Markets, Morgan Stanley, Morgan Keegan & Co. and Ramirez & Co. as co-managers.
The second deal will be led by JPMorgan with Goldman, Sachs & Co., Bank of America Merrill Lynch, and Siebert Brandford Shank & Co. as co-managers.
Davis said the two deals will appeal to different groups of investors.
With its double-A credit, the first bonds should see wide distribution to retail and institutional buyers.
The second deal will appeal to a smaller group seeking high-yield debt, she said.
SH 161, a north-south thoroughfare on Dallas’ eastern edge, will be the first NTTA project to carry stand-alone financing.
Debt for all other projects is backed by total system revenues.
The authority had 180 days from the February agreement date to fully finance the road and provide a $458 million upfront payment to the Regional Transportation Commission representing a consortium of local governments.
As an 11.5-mile extension of the President George Bush Turnpike that traverses the heart of the metro area, the partially completed SH 161 is expected to be one of the NTTA’s most lucrative projects.