BRADENTON, Fla. — Triple-A rated Georgia on Tuesday plans to competitively sell $401 million of new and refunding general obligation bonds.
New-money proceeds will be used for a variety of state projects with five- and 20-year maturities that match the life spans of the facilities.
Some $90 million will go toward K-12 school construction and higher-education repairs and maintenance, while $35 million will be used for local water and sewer projects that may also include reservoirs.
Another $27 million will go toward the $600 million financing to deepen the harbor at the Port of Savannah to prepare it for larger ships once the Panama Canal enlargement is completed in 2014.
While Georgia has contribute more than $100 million of financing to the project, so far the state is still attempting to attract federal funding.
The offering is structured as $38.8 million of Series H new-money GOs with a five-year final maturity and $208.2 million of Series I new-money GOs with 20-year maturities.
The sale is expected to include two advance refundings structured as $64.66 million of Series J-1 GOs and $89.16 million of Series J-2 general obligation refunding bonds.
The J-1 refunding bonds mature between 2017 and 2023, while the J-2 bonds mature from 2017-2022.
The advance refundings are expected to obtain present-value savings of more than 5%, which will be taken over the life of the bonds within existing maturities, according to Lee McElhannon, director of bond finance with the Georgia State Financing and Investment Commission.
The exact size of the refundings depends on market conditions, McElhannon said, noting that many advance refundings currerntly are being affected by negative arbitrage.
After reviewing the triple-A yield curve, he said the issue had the potential to obtain lower yields than the state’s most recent GO sale in June.
Though a sizeable amount of bonds are selling this week, McElhannon said that Georgia’s offering should be attractive to bidders.
“We think there’s capacity for what we are putting out there along with the other deals being that triple-triple-A GO paper doesn’t get issued every day,” he said. “We think we have these deals sized appropriately so that we’ll generate a good number of nice, aggressive bids.”
Fitch Ratings, Moody’s Investors Service, and Standard & Poor’s assigned their triple-A ratings to the bonds.
The agency’s also affirmed their triple-A ratings, and stable outlooks, on Georgia’s $9 billion of outstanding GO bonds.
Public Resources Advisory Group is the state’s financial advisor.
King & Spalding LLP is bond counsel. Kutak Rock LLP is disclosure counsel.
Georgia in June priced a nearly $1 billion deal — its largest ever single-day bond offering.
It sold as $479.6 million of new GOs, $77 million of taxable qualified-school construction GO bonds, and $441.14 of GO refunding bonds.
The new-money portion of the June sale sold in three series.
The largest series, $412.5 million, priced to yield 1.9% in 2018, 3.27% in 2025 and 4.07% in 2031.