The Bond Buyer this week announced the finalists for its 15th annual Deal of the Year Awards. Issuers were honored for the Deal of the Year in eight categories, revealed online Nov. 7-11 through separate video announcements at BondBuyer.com.

All the award winners are also finalists for the national Deal of the Year Award, which will be announced at a Dec. 1 ceremony held at 583 Park Avenue in New York City. The winner will also be revealed online at BondBuyer.com later that evening.

For more than a decade, the editors of The Bond Buyer have selected outstanding municipal bond transactions for special recognition. The 2016 awards, which considered deals that closed between Oct. 1, 2015 and Sept. 30, 2016, drew nominations that represent the full diversity of the communities and public purposes that are served by the municipal finance market.

"The nominees faced stiff competition from many supremely qualified deals," said Michael Scarchilli, Editor in Chief of The Bond Buyer. "We chose the finalists for innovation, the ability to pull complex transactions together under challenging conditions, the ability to serve as a model for other financings, and the public purpose for which a deal's proceeds were used."

For the sixth year, the Deal of the Year gala will also include the presentation of the Freda Johnson Award for Trailblazing Women in Public Finance. This year marks the third in which the organization is honoring two public finance professionals; one from the public sector and one from the private. The 2016 honorees are president of Finance & Development at New York State Homes & Community Renewal Marian Zucker, and Siebert Cisneros Shank & Co. chairwoman and CEO Suzanne Shank.

The finalists are:

NORTHEAST REGION
The New York Transportation Development Corp.'s  public-private partnership to help fund a $4 billion redevelopment of LaGuardia Airport. At $2.4 billion, it is the largest U.S. P3 to date, the largest airport transaction in history, and the largest alternative minimum tax transaction ever brought to market.

SOUTHWEST REGION
The Texas Water Development Board's $810 million sale of State Water Implementation Revenue Fund for Texas (SWIRFT) revenue bonds. The projects funded in this transaction will produce more than 1.5 million acre-feet of water, helping ensure the vitality of the Texas economy, rain or shine.

MIDWEST REGION
Ohio State University's $600 million sale of general receipts bonds. The university's use of a corporate-like shelf registration – believed to be a first in the municipal market – established a base offering statement, streamlining the state flagship university's market access by allowing it to move quickly on deals.

SOUTHEAST REGION
The Health and Educational Facilities Board of The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, Tenn.'s $1.13 billion bond sale on behalf of Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Proceeds were used to purchase the medical center's assets from the university and create legal and financial separation of the two entities.

FAR WEST REGION
The San Diego Unified School District's $471 million sale which smashed the template for local GO bonds in California. To benefit students and taxpayers, the district convinced rating agencies and investors to evaluate its GOs based on the dedicated taxes that support them instead of districts' operating budgets.

NON-TRADITIONAL FINANCING
The District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority's $25 million issuance of the nation's first Environmental Impact Bonds. The net proceeds of the sale will finance the inaugural project in DC Water's green infrastructure program, engineered to manage stormwater runoff and improve water quality in the District.

HEALTHCARE FINANCING
The Illinois Finance Authority's $1 billion issue on behalf of Presence Health Network. The sale marked the largest high-yield not-for-profit healthcare deal in recent memory and generated significant savings that can be reinvested into services while providing some breathing room for Presence's turnaround plan to achieve results.

SMALL ISSUER FINANCING
The Northwest Dallas County Flood Control District's $15.7 million sale of unlimited tax refunding bonds to defease bonds issued in a 1992 debt restructuring and lift a tax-rate cap. The new bonds gave the district until 2045 to pay off the debt, 20 years later than the previous maturity.

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