CHICAGO — Ohio will bring its first deal of the year to market next week and expects to follow that with another general obligation deal set for early February after Gov. John Kasich releases his 2014 budget proposal.
The two sales together will total roughly $482 million of GO bonds and are a mix of refunding for interest-rate savings and new money to generate proceeds for local government capital improvement projects across the state.
Both deals will sell competitively.
The state will sell $219.3 million of bonds on Jan. 8. The deal includes $150 million of new-money infrastructure improvement GO bonds and $69.3 million of infrastructure improvement GO refunding bonds.
The $150 million of new money bonds feature a final maturity of 2033 and the $69.3 million refunding bonds mature in 2025, according to preliminary bond documents.
The Ohio Public Facilities Commission is the issuer and Tucker Ellis LLP is bond counsel. Acacia Financial Group Inc. is financial advisor on the deal.
The state expects to see "strong" interest rate savings on the refunding side, said Ohio's assistant debt manager Larry Scurlock. The new-money piece will generate money for grants and loans to local governments to finance capital projects and is part of an annual issuance for the program, Scurlock said.
The second deal is tentatively set for a competitive sale in early February. The state expects to print preliminary bond documents on Feb. 6, two days after Kasich is set to release his 2014 budget proposal. The state had planned to sell the bonds — which will total around $267 million — on Jan. 23, but decided to push the deal back to include the new budget information in the preliminary official statement, Scurlock said.
The transaction tentatively includes $195 million of common schools GO refunding bonds and $66.3 million of higher education GO refunding bonds.
The state has eight additional bond sales planned through June. The largest are a $300 million schools GO deal set for sale in May or June and a $100 million GO sale set for March or April that will generate money for the Third Frontier program, which promotes jobs in the technology sector.
Many of the bond sales are part of the newly approved 2013-2014 capital budget, Scurlock said. "We are working our way through that authorization," he said.
"From a new-money standpoint I think this will be a normal year," Scurlock added. "On the refunding side, I think it's a bit too early to tell, as it depends on where interest rates are. The state is always evaluating savings."
Fitch Ratings last week affirmed its AA-plus rating on the state. "Ohio's AA-plus GO rating is based on the state's careful financial management, ongoing record of maintaining fiscal balance, and a moderate, rapidly amortizing debt burden, supported by an economy that is steadily adding jobs lost in the recession," Fitch said in its ratings report.
Moody's Investors Service and Standard & Poor's as of Monday had not released ratings on the upcoming deals.