BRADENTON, Fla. - The financing arm of the University of South Florida believes it is one of the first issuers to convert auction-rate debt to another mode after working out a deal to keep the original bond insurance in place while adding a letter of credit.

The USF Financing Corp. converted $92.2 million of Series 2005B auction-rate certificates of participation to weekly mode variable-rate debt last week with triple-barreled enhancement, which included a letter of credit from Wachovia Bank NA, insurance from Ambac AssuranceCorp., and USF's own underlying credit rating. Variable-rate deals are usually enhanced with an LOC or insurance, but not both.

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