DALLAS — The University of Colorado will look for interest-rate savings as it brings $89.3 million of refunding bonds to market.
RBC Capital Markets is senior manager on the negotiated deal, on the calendar for the week of Jan. 12, with Stifel, Loop Capital Markets and Drexel Hamilton as co-managers. North Slope Capital Advisors serves is financial advisor with Hogan Lovells as bond counsel.
The bonds carry ratings of Aa2 from Moody's Investors Service and AA-plus by Fitch Ratings. Outlooks are stable.
The Series 2015A&B bonds will refund all or portions of Series 2005A, 2005B, 2006A, and 2009A bonds.
"The Aa2 rating is based on the university's size and scope of operations, its strong market position with a diverse array of academic programs as the state's flagship public university, as well as a significant research enterprise, and healthy operating performance," Moody's analyst Mary Kay Cooney wrote in her Jan. 9 report. "These credit strengths are offset by very low levels of state funding and declining federally funded research grants and contracts, in addition to growing balance sheet leverage."
After several years of substantial cuts in state funding for higher education, state appropriations increased modestly in fiscal 2014, according to analysts. Further increases were approved in the state's fiscal 2015 budget and are expected in fiscal 2016 as the General Assembly opens in Denver.
"Moderating student enrollment growth, while not currently envisioned, could lead to downward rating pressure, as student-generated revenues represent CU's largest revenue source (35%)," Fitch analyst Ryan A. Greene said.
The refunding comes during a $156 million remodeling of CU Boulder's Folsom Field football stadium and related athletic facilities.
CU sold $150.9 million in bonds in August to fund the first major football facilities project in 10 years.
The project, approved by the CU Board of Regents in 2014, will add an indoor practice facility on the east side of the stadium that will include a track for use by the cross country and track and field teams. The project also includes three new premium seating areas in the north end of the stadium. Revenue from those seating areas will help pay down the debt, officials said.