The WakeMed health care system is expected to sell $75 million in variable-rate bonds today in the second part of a $175 million debt sale started in January.

The Series 2009B bonds will be issued by the North Carolina Hospital Commission, which was the state’s largest issuer in 2008 with $1.7 billion in debt sales.

Moody’s Investors Service has rated the bonds Aaa and VMIG-1. The bonds are rated AA and F1-plus by Fitch Ratings. WakeMed, with nine locations and more than 800 beds, carries an underlying rating of A1 from Moody’s.

Citi will serve as underwriter and Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice PLLC will serve as bond counsel. Wachovia Bank NA will provide an LOC for the bonds.

In January, WakeMed came to market with $100 million of fixed-rate debt insured by Assured Guaranty Corp. The combined sale will finance WakeMed’s completed and future capital improvements at its Raleigh and Cary facilities.

WakeMed and other health care providers in North Carolina have benefited from the state’s restrictive certificate of need program, which controls hospital expansion, and the conservative approach has barred a health care arms race in the state, Moody’s analysts said.

WakeMed has $478 million of debt outstanding, according to Moody’s.

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