SOURCE: SourceMedia

November 09, 2007 08:00 ET

The Bond Buyer Announces 2007 "Deal of the Year" Finalists

10 Issuers Will Compete for National Honors at Black-Tie Gala on Dec. 11th

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - November 9, 2007) - The Bond Buyer's editors this week announced the finalists for its sixth annual Deal of the Year Awards, recognizing 10 of the nation's most innovative municipal-bond issuers for transactions that financed major public infrastructure projects, including bridges, hospitals, schools, water, an airport, and housing for students, members of the military, and the poor. All ten finalists are in the running for the overall Deal of the Year award, which will be announced Dec. 11th at a black-tie dinner in New York City. The Bond Buyer is SourceMedia's daily newspaper covering the $2.3 trillion municipal-finance industry.

LIST OF FINALISTS (details below):

Northeast Large Issuer: Massachusetts Health and Educational Facilities
 Authority (for Partners HealthCare)
Northeast Small Issuer: Hoboken, N.J., Municipal Hospital Authority
Southwest Large Issuer: City of Aurora, Colo.
Southwest Small Issuer: Sheridan, Colo, Redevelopment Agency
Midwest Large Issuer: Michigan Municipal Bond Authority
Midwest Small Issuer: Branson, Mo., Regional Airport Transportation
 Development District
Southeast Large Issuer: South Florida Water Management District
Southeast Small Issuer: Louisiana Public Facilities Authority
Far West: Bay Area Infrastructure Finance Authority
Far West Small Issuer: King County, Wash., Housing Authority (for the YWCA
 of Seattle-King County-Snohomish County).

The newspaper also announced that the award for non-traditional public finance went to Pacific Beacon LLC, which raised $307.2 million to finance the U.S. military's first-ever privatization of a housing facility for unmarried soldiers. When the project at Naval Base San Diego is completed, it will provide housing for approximately 2,400 single sailors when their ships are in port at San Diego.

Summary descriptions of the deals

Northeast Large Issuer: The Massachusetts Health and Educational Facilities Authority for its sale of $620 million of tax-exempt revenue bonds, $80 million of tax-exempt revenue bonds, and $100 million of taxable bonds for Partners HealthCare System Inc. The deal helped the system mitigate risk and finance construction of a 420,000 square-foot, $289 million cardiovascular center at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston and construction of a three-story, 500,000-square-foot radiation and oncology department at Massachusetts General Hospital, and purchase research space at Charles River Plaza and complete other projects.

Northeast Small Issuer: The Hoboken, N.J. Municipal Hospital Authority for its $40.5 million of taxable city-guaranteed revenue bonds that are convertible to tax-exempt bonds and $11.17 million of taxable city guaranteed hospital revenue bonds for the Hoboken University Medical Center's acquisition of St. Mary Hospital. The deal enabled the city to keep a hospital that might otherwise have closed.

Southwest Large Issuer: Aurora, Colo., for its $421 million issue of first-lien water improvement revenue bonds for the Prairie Waters Project, which enabled the city that sits just east of the Rocky Mountains, to improve the reliability of its water supply so that it can meet the needs of a population projected to double in the next 40 years. The Prairie Waters Project is a water diversion and treatment project that enables the city to treat and re-use legally reusable water from the South Platte River.

Southwest Small Issuer: The Sheridan, Colo., Redevelopment Agency for its issue of $51.3 million tax-exempt tax increment revenue bonds and $45.745 million of taxable variable-rate tax increment revenue bonds for the South Santa Fe Drive Corridor Redevelopment Project. The deal was the first for the agency and financed the redevelopment of a landfill, using tax-increment revenues and public improvement fees, into a riverwalk, shopping center, and golf course.

Midwest Large Issuer: The Michigan Municipal Bond Authority for its $500 million issue of taxable school revolving fund revenue and refunding bonds that transformed how Michigan funds school construction. The deal took the stream of payments from school districts on loans from the state and created a revolving loan fund, a first for school construction in the country.

Midwest Small Issuer: The Branson, Mo., Regional Airport Transportation Development District for its $103.96 million sale of tax-exempt airport revenue bonds subject to the alternative minimum tax, and $9.8 million tax-exempt airport revenue bonds not subject to the AMT. The deal financed the first for-profit commercial airport to be developed in the United States and operated by a private company.

Southeast Large Issuer: The South Florida Water Management District for its $546.1 million issue of certificates of participation for the Everglades Restoration Acceler8 Program which aims to expedite construction and operation of projects to improve water quality reduce phosphorus inputs to Lake Okeechobee, refurbish the regional water management system, Implement key water supply plan recommendations to meet current and future demands.

Southeast Small Issuer: The Louisiana Public Facilities Authority for its $59.3 million sale of tax-exempt and taxable bonds for the Black & Gold Facilities project for student housing on the campus of Grambling State University. The bond funded phase 1 of an overall redevelopment of the campus of the historically black college that previously had never issued debt.

Far West Large Issuer: The Bay Area Infrastructure Financing Authority for its $972.32 million issue of state payment acceleration notes secured by a California Seismic Retrofit Program contribution commitment schedule. The deal secured money from the state of California's seismic retrofit program to finance improvements on seven Bay Area bridges.

Far West Small Issuer: The King County, Wash., Housing Authority for its sales of $5.2 million, $3.4 million, and $6.5 million of tax-exempt debt, and $25.2 million of taxable subordinate-lien housing revenue bonds for the YWCA of Seattle-King County-Snohomish County for multifamily housing projects. The money raised by the deal was used to finance part of the acquisition of three apartment buildings for low-income women and their families. As a result of the deal the YWCA acquired 219 units of affordable housing.

For more information, contact Amy Resnick, Editor-in-Chief of The Bond Buyer at 212-803-8432, or via e-mail at Amy.Resnick@sourcemedia.com.

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