DALLAS — The beginning of summer usually marks the start of slowdown in Texas issues, but there are a few larger and highly rated sales expected to price this week.
The triple-A rated University of Texas System Board of Regents plans to offer $250 million of Series 2009D tax-exempt revenue financing system bonds through a negotiated sale led by JPMorgan. Earlier this month, the issuer sold $330.5 million of Series 2009B revenue financing system bonds that were taxable Build America Bonds. The exact structure of this week’s sale wasn’t available last week.
The UT System handles its financial-advisory duties in house, while McCall, Parkhurst & Horton serves as bond counsel.
Some of the proceeds from the bonds will fund restoration of the systems’ medical branch in Galveston. UTMB-Galveston was heavily damaged during Hurricane Ike in September. The bonds are secured by revenue and fees of the system’s 15 member colleges, including tuition and auxiliary fees,
Moody’s Investors Service assigned a Aaa rating to the issue, citing a “superior financial resource base” that stood at $18.8 billion at the end of fiscal 2008, as well as the system’s “sophisticated investment management,” strong operating cash flow, and more than $600 million of private sector support annually.
Additional credit strengths include “consistently positive annual operating performance with ongoing growth in all core revenue streams and proactive management of operating challenges,” according to Moody’s.
Both Fitch Ratings and Standard & Poor’s also assigned a AAA rating to the issue.
Fitch analysts expect turbulence in the global markets to pressure the system’s assets, but “superior investment management” will help limit material declines in the system.
Standard & Poor’s analyst Susan Carlson said the rating reflects “our view of the system’s broad, multicampus unlimited student fee security pledge for [revenue financing system] supported debt.”
One of the largest college systems in the country, UT’s total enrollment as of the fall of 2008 was 195,107 students.
The North Central Texas Health Facilities Development Corp. is bringing $200 million of hospital revenue bonds to market this week on behalf of the Children’s Medical Center of Dallas.
Goldman, Sachs & Co. will lead the underwriting syndicate for the negotiated sale. Kauffman, Hall & Associates Inc. is the financial adviser to the issuer.
Fitch Ratings assigned a AA rating to the bonds. Analysts said the rating reflects the center’s dominance as the “provider of complex, high acuity pediatric services” in the Dallas area, with strong volume growth and operating margins consistent with the AA category.
Proceeds from the bonds will reimburse the medical center for a new tower on its main campus in Dallas, continued development of the Plano campus, and repayment of a $60 million line of credit, according to analysts.
North Fort Bend Water Authority is still trying to price $135 million of water system revenue bonds. The negotiated sale, which will be led by RBC Capital Markets, has been on the calendar for a few weeks.
First Southwest Co. is the authority’s financial adviser and Allen Boone Humphries Robinson LLP is bond counsel.
The bonds are structured as serials maturing in 2012 through 2034. The authority will use proceeds to pay Houston for rights to purchase surface water, and new construction and improvements to the water-delivery system.
The debt is secured with the pledged revenue of the authority, which serves a mostly suburban area that includes Fort Bend County and parts of southwest Houston. The current population within the authority’s boundaries is about 107,500 and that figure is projected to climb to 289,000 by 2025.
Both Fitch and Standard & Poor’s assigned an A-minus rating to the bonds.
The four-year old authority was created as a wholesale water provider to assist groundwater pumpers — including some 65 municipal utility districts — in converting to alternative water supplies in accordance with regulatory requirements, according to analysts.
Austin Independent School District plans to price $100 million of unlimited tax school building and refunding bonds at some point this week in a negotiated sale led by Morgan Stanley.
The district tends to issue commercial paper notes and then refund that debt, taking it out to longer maturities. Of this week’s sale, $82 million will refund notes and $18 million will be used for various capital improvements.
The PFM Group is the financial adviser to the the fourth-largest school system in Texas. Andrews Kurth LLP and Escamilla & Poneck Inc. are co-bond counsel. The underwriting syndicate includes Barclays Capital, Citi, Morgan Keegan & Co. Inc., and Siebert Brandford Shank & Co. LLC.
The bonds, which won’t be insured, are structured as serials maturing in 2010 through 2034.
Standard & Poor’s assigned a AA-plus rating to the issue, citing the district’s diverse and expanding regional economic base, sound financial position, and moderate debt levels. Analysts said the district’s economy is strengthened by the presence of the state government and the University of Texas.
Fitch Ratings assigned an AA rating and affirmed the rating on the district’s $683.6 million in parity debt outstanding. Moody’s Investors Service assigned its Aa1 rating.
Following next week’s sale, the district will have about $404.3 million of authorized but unissued debt.
Austin ISD serves about 83,730 students in 78 elementary schools, 18 middle schools, 12 high schools and seven other campuses. Some projections show continued enrollment growth to 103,000 students in 2015.