S&P releases BBB rating for Northwest Ohio Bond FundWritten by Duane Ramsey | | email@example.com
Standard and Poor’s (S&P) announced a BBB investment-grade rating with stable outlook on Aug. 20 for the Northwest Ohio Bond Fund, which is administered by the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority.
The Port Authority has been working with S&P since the start of 2010 to establish this rating.
“We are very pleased to be associated with this top financial rating agency and are satisfied with this investment-grade rating of BBB with Stable Outlook for the Northwest Ohio Bond Fund,” Paul Toth, President and CEO of the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, stated in a press release.
“The backing of an investment-grade rating from S&P reflects the integrity and overwhelmingly strong historical performance of our portfolio,” stated Toth.
The Port Authority has developed a national reputation for innovative business financing, assisting close to 300 economic development projects representing a total investment of more than $1 billion while helping to create and retain more than 15,500 jobs, according to Toth.
Port authorities have been empowered by state law to play an important role in forming public-private partnerships to finance business growth and economic development in Ohio.
“Since the inception in 1988, the Port Authority has issued more than $202 million in bonds and over the 22-year history of the bond fund, no bonds have ever been in default and the program has never had to use the program reserve fund to cure a default,” stated Toth.
“In fact we have had a 25 to 30% debt service reserve cushion over the life of the Northwest Ohio Bond Fund. Recently, we have increased the Bond Fund Program Reserve by depositing over $12 million in additional cash through a partnership with the Ohio Manufacturers Association, Lucas County and a Federal Grant procured through the U.S. Department of Energy, which will specifically allow us to leverage the bond fund to provide financing for much needed energy efficiency and alternative energy projects throughout northwest Ohio”
The Northwest Ohio Bond Fund provides small and medium sized companies access to the national capital market as if they were BBB Investment Grade companies. Its portfolio of projects includes entities such as the Cleveland Cavaliers, BAX Global, Nagel Trucking, Toledo School for the Arts, Xunlight, Dana and several other companies located in Ohio.
The Northwest Ohio Bond Fund provides financing for projects from $1 to $8 million and fixed interest rates for full term of the bonds. A typical transaction is usually 90% financing and 10% equity. The fund provides 20-year financing for land and buildings, and financing up to 10 years for equipment.
The Northwest Ohio Bond Fund issues tax exempt bonds for manufacturing, non-profit 501(c)3, and governmental operations and taxable bonds for all other projects. Bonds are purchased by private investors and the Port Authority ensures that each bond issue is safeguarded, providing a gateway to capital markets that does not rely upon taxpayer funds.
The Northwest Ohio Bond Fund is one of several financing mechanisms available through the Port Authority.
Additional financial tools available from the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority include Infrastructure Financing; Conduit Revenue Bonds; the Ohio 166 Regional Loan Program and the U.S. Small Business Administration 504 Loan Program.