Proceeds from the sale of the bonds were to be used to finance various capital projects and refund certain outstanding G.O. bonds in order to generate debt service savings in FY 2021. The new money bonds were structured to generate a $37.2 million project fund and 4% coupons were used in 2036 through 2040, with principal maturing serially (2023-2040) and a 10-year call option at par. The bonds received ratings of “A” by S&P and “A” by Fitch. Originally scheduled for a pricing in early April, the unfolding volatile market events in the previous weeks forced the financing team to evaluate the market and designate the transaction as “day to day”. Although still a volatile market overall due to continued concerns related to the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic, the tax-exempt market continued its May trend towards lower yields, and SWS showed decisiveness and recommended bringing the transaction to market on May 20, 2020.
The transaction was 2.5x oversubscribed with the most interest being concentrated on the long-end of the curve. The transaction saw strong demand from across the investor spectrum, including bond funds, SMAs, bank portfolios, insurance companies, bank trusts, private wealth management and prop/trading accounts. As a result, SWS repriced bonds 2 bps tighter in the 2023-2024 and 2030 maturities, and bumped the overall balance by 4 bps. The City of Bridgeport achieved a True Interest Cost of 3.13%.