CHICAGO – Wisconsin’s capital finance office is accepting qualifications through next week from underwriters interested in participating on negotiated sales over the next two years as its eyes updating its investor relations program and borrowing under a new state budget.
The request for qualifications documents are posted on the office’s website at with submissions due to newly installed capital finance director Kevin Taylor by June 28. Taylor took the reins of the office in April after Frank Hoadley retired.
The state intends to establish updated senior manager and co-manager pools. Wisconsin recently closed a similar selection process to establish an updated financial advisory pool and officials are reviewing the submissions.
The underwriters deemed qualified would work on deals under various state bonding programs, may be asked to work on the development of new borrowing programs, and may serve as dealers on the state’s commercial paper and extendible municipal CP programs.
The pools would remain in place through June 30, 2015 although the state retains the right to terminate, extend, or update them. The current pools expire this month but that does not impact firms the state is in negotiations with on potential transactions.
“The state of Wisconsin is reviewing its investor relations program with plans to make noteworthy changes. The state is moving forward to make some changes to its website,” the RFQ reads. The state also seeks feedback from underwriters on how best to reach out to new investors.
Firms would work on new borrowing authority slated for approval in the state’s $68 billion two-year operating and capital budgets. The budget plan was approved by the Assembly Wednesday and is expected to be approved by the Senate late Thursday or Friday.
It includes authorization to refund up to $2 billion of general obligation bonds for economic savings. The state had previously exhausted its refunding capacity leaving it unable to take advantage of refunding opportunities earlier this year.
In anticipation of the budget’s approval, the State Building Commission at its meeting Wednesday approved tapping the expected budgetary authority with the sale of up to $595 million of GO refunding bonds.
The state is also eyeing the use of tender options.
“The 2013-15 executive budget includes provisions relating to the sale of certain state assets, with the proceeds of such sale being required to first repay debt related to the sold asset. In addition, the State is interested in whether tender programs could be a future alternative to negative arbitrage in refunding transactions,” the RFQ reads.
The state uses competitive sales on most of its new-money deals or transactions deemed plain vanilla and negotiated sales on more complex financings such as refundings.