SOURCE: SourceMedia

November 08, 2006 11:17 ET

The Bond Buyer Announces 2006 "Deal of the Year" Finalists

10 Issuers Will Compete for National Honors at Black-Tie Gala on Dec. 5th

NEW YORK, NY -- (MARKET WIRE) -- November 8, 2006 -- The Bond Buyer's editors today announced the finalists for its fifth 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 roads, bridges, stadiums, and electric power plants. The Bond Buyer is SourceMedia's daily newspaper covering the $2.3 trillion municipal-finance industry.

LIST OF FINALISTS (details below)

Northeast Large Issuer: New York City Industrial Development
 Agency
Northeast Small Issuer: City School District of Rensselaer, N.Y.
Southwest Large Issuer: Texas Transportation Commission
Southwest Small Issuer: Town of Clayton, N.M.
Midwest Large Issuer: Illinois State Toll Highway Authority
Midwest Small Issuer: Missouri Joint Municipal Electric Utility
 Commission
Southeast Large Issuer: Louisiana Stadium and Exposition
 District
Southeast Small Issuer: Fairfax County, Va., Economic
Development
 Authority
Far West Large Issuer: Bay Area Toll Authority
Far West Small Issuer: Aleutians East Borough
The 2006 awards covered deals that closed between October 1, 2005 and September 30, 2006, and were hotly contested, drawing a record 116 nominations. The newspaper's senior editors selected two finalists from each region of the country covered by the newspaper -- a large issuer and a small issuer, determined by gross revenues in an issuer's most recent financial year. All ten finalists are in the running for the overall Deal of the Year award, which will be announced Dec. 5 at a black-tie dinner in New York City.

The newspaper also announced that the Indiana Toll Road Concession is the winner of its first-ever award for the most innovative non-traditional public finance transaction -- including privatizations and public-private partnerships. This new award reflects the major growth in this sector.

Summary descriptions of the deals

Northeast Large Issuer: New York City Industrial Development Agency for a total of $1.587 billion of PILOT and other revenue bonds to finance the construction of new baseball stadiums for the New York Mets and New York Yankees. The IDA obtained a first-of-its-kind private-letter ruling from the Internal Revenue Service that allowed it to use cheaper tax-exempt financing to build two major-league baseball stadiums, while still limiting to cost to city taxpayers.

Northeast Small Issuer: City School District of Rensselaer, N.Y., $71 million certificates of participation Series 2006 for the School Campus Project, an innovative public-private partnership in which a private developer agreed to assume all construction risk and deliver a new school on a "turnkey" basis.

Southwest Large Issuer: Texas Transportation Commission, $600 million of state highway fund first-tier revenue bonds, Series 2006. The TTC's new first-tier revenue bond structure will, over time, allow the state to raise $3 billion in financing, through bonds that earned the market's highest, triple-A credit rating.

Southwest Small Issuer: Town of Clayton, N.M., $75 million of jail project revenue bonds, Series 2006. A complex issue that allowed the town to finance a new prison -- development that town leaders say is crucial to the economic future of the community.

Midwest Large Issuer: Illinois State Toll Highway Authority, $1 billion toll highway senior priority revenue bonds. The Tollway's May financing was a model for issuers who take a holistic approach to their balance sheet to achieve the lowest cost for their constituents.

Midwest Small Issuer: Missouri Joint Municipal Electric Utility Commission, $279 million of power project revenue bonds (Plum Point Project), Series 2006, backed by small municipal utilities in the Missouri cities of Carthage, Poplar Bluff, Malden, and Kennett, and the Arkansas cities of Piggott, Osceola, and North Little Rock. In this transaction, seven small cities -- several of which had never before issued debt -- banded together to buy a 22% share in a new coal-fired power plant that will ensure their customers a reliable supply of affordable power.

Southeast Large Issuer: $294 million of Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District bonds for repairs and improvements to the New Orleans Superdome. The successful completion of the transaction made it possible to restore the Superdome in time for the New Orleans Saints' first post-Katrina home game on Sept. 25 -- a crucial step toward rebuilding the city's tourist economy.

Southeast Small Issuer: Fairfax County, Va., Economic Development Authority, $26 million adjustable-mode industrial development revenue bonds Series 2006 for the Lorton Arts Foundation Inc. project. This financing jump-started the transformation of a historic prison into a vibrant community arts center -- an important amenity in this fast-growing region.

Far West Large Issuer: Bay Area Toll Authority, for more than $3 billion of toll revenue bonds that facilitated one of the nation's most dramatic examples of inter-governmental cooperation -- an agreement between the State of California and the Bay Area Toll Authority that will clear the way for the completion of crucial seismic upgrades to the San Francisco Bay Bridge and other nearby spans.

Far West Small Issuer: Aleutians East Borough, Alaska, $18 million of project revenue bonds Series 2006 for the Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association headquarters and cultural facility project. This transaction will create a central administrative headquarters and cultural center for 13 Native Alaskan tribes.

The $3.85 billion Indiana Toll Road concession sale won the non-traditional public finance award for illustrating the value investors place on municipal infrastructure assets, while also funding Indiana's Major Moves program that will improve and expand the state's transportation infrastructure even as other sources of transportation funding are increasingly constrained.

Contact Information

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    The Bond Buyer
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    SourceMedia
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