The New York City Housing Development Corp. approved a new expanded slate of underwriters and up to $236 million of bonds at its monthly board meeting yesterday.
The HDC had been thinking about putting out a new request for proposals earlier this year. However, it wasn't in a hurry until trouble in the credit markets began to reduce the number of approved underwriters, such as UBS Securities LLC and Bear, Stearns & Co., which either dropped out of public finance or disappeared, said HDC president Marc Jahr.
"It was clear that the firms that were here today might be gone tomorrow and that to protect the corporation from the enormous upheaval in the financial services industry, it was critical that we rethink the structure of our underwriting pool," Jahr said.
The HDC, which doesn't approve its syndicate for a set term, last approved a slate of underwriters in 2003. This approval increases its total pool to 20 underwriters from 15.
The agency sells bonds on its open resolution, which pools capital for multiple projects, and also standalone issues for specific projects.
For the open resolution, the HDC chose JPMorgan and Goldman, Sachs & Co. as senior managers and Banc of America Securities LLC, Merrill Lynch & Co., and Morgan Stanley as co-senior managers.
The agency also selected four co-managers that could serve on large fixed-rate deals or deals that would benefit from broader distribution - RBC Capital Markets, Citi, Ramirez & Co., and M.R. Beal & Co.
For standalone debt, it selected JPMorgan, Goldman, Merrill, Banc of America, and Morgan Stanley as senior managers. RBC, Citi, and M.R. Beal were chosen as co-senior managers.
The agency selected 12 firms as co-managers - Barclays Capital, Cabrera Capital Markets LLC, Fifth Third Securities Inc., George K. Baum & Co., Lebenthal & Co., Loop Capital Markets LLC, Morgan Keegan & Co., Ramirez, Raymond James & Associates Inc., Roosevelt & Cross Inc., Siebert Brandford Shank & Co., and Wachovia Securities.
The HDC will continue a practice that allows an approved co-senior manager or co-manager to serve as senior manager on a deal if it is solely responsible for securing credit enhancement for a given project.
In a new practice, the corporation will also allow an approved co-manager to be promoted to senior or co-senior manager on a project if it creates a unique and innovative financing structure that results in significant savings for the corporation.
The HDC also approved four series of bonds to be sold on its open resolution, totaling $228 million. JPMorgan will underwrite the bonds and Hawkins Delafield & Wood LLP is bond counsel.
Two series, 2008J and 2008K, will be federally taxable and privately placed with the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York. Proceeds of Series 2008J, up to $35 million, will be used to refinance bonds issued earlier this year with credit enhancement from Dexia Credit Local.
Series 2008L and 2008M, totaling $83 million, will be tax-exempt and used to fund construction and permanent financing for multiple projects.
The HDC also approved up to $8 million of bonds for Order Sons of Italy in America Preservation G.P. Corp. to acquire and renovate a seven-story senior housing apartment building in Brooklyn called the Sons of Italy Apartments. JPMorgan will underwrite and remarket the bonds and Wachovia Bank NA will provide a direct-pay letter of credit.