Deal of the Year 2018 — Far West: California Municipal Finance Authority

Los Angeles International Airport serves 85 million passengers annually, making it the second busiest in the nation.

As the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Agency began to build out the city’s network of light rail, one significant piece was missing. No connection had been designed to the airport.

Three years ago Los Angeles World Airports and LA Metro finally began to work through inter-agency squabbles to craft a solution: a 2.25-mile automated people mover that would connect to the city’s mass transit and offer passenger drop-offs at six stations outside of the airport.

That raised the issue of how to pay for the $5 billion project.

That solution came through the creation of the most complex public-private partnership in the airport’s history involving LAX Integrated Express Solutions, a consortium of five internationally-known developers and equity financiers.

The people mover will have the capacity to serve 30 million people in a 10-minute travel time.

LINXS sold $1.2 billion in private activity bonds for the project in June through conduit issuer the California Municipal Finance Authority. The deal, which had certain maturities insured by Assured Guaranty, was 6.7 times oversubscribed.