Case Studies

Ohio County Fairgrounds P3

CHALLENGE: Upgrade the county’s fairground and entertainment facilities cheaper and faster.

SOLUTION: Working with the local port authority and developer, FBT Project Finance Advisors and Frost Brown Todd structured a program where the port authority and county shared powers, allowing the county to use the port’s simpler non-bid procurement powers, each allowing construction of the project without prevailing wages.

RESULTS: Time and money saved and a reduced project budget and revenue requirement in the future.

The Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority

CHALLENGE: Secure tax-exempt funding to modernize parking systems.

SOLUTION: Principals of FBT Project Finance Advisors worked with the Port Authority and City of Toledo examining innovative finance solutions to create a public agency partnership program that secured funding for the projects. The City and Port Authority used tax-exempt debt with a rate of interest that was much lower than taxable debt. The structure included private expert managers, which lowered operating costs, increased efficiency and generated more revenue for the projects.

RESULTS: More than $3 million was saved in interest cost by the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority.

City of Cleveland, County of Cuyahoga, the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority.

CHALLENGE: To finance the $270 million Ernst & Young Tower and the $400 million Cleveland Convention Center and Global Center for Health Innovation.

SOLUTION: Principals of FBT Project Finance Advisors assisted the City of Cleveland, County of Cuyahoga, and the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority, as well as underwriting firms Robert W. Baird Incorporated and Stifel Nicolaus & Company, in finding creative ways to generate funds for these projects. The FBT team, working closely with the agencies and investors, facilitated a P3 structure for the Convention/Global Health Center project where Merchandise Mart Properties entered into a DBFOM lease for the Center; and used tax-exempt and taxable bonds as part of a unique financing package for the Ernest & Young Tower that included 35 separate bond, grant, tax-credit, EB-5 and other funding sources.

RESULTS: More than $30 million saved in financing costs for each project.

Ohio Market Access Program

CHALLENGE: Identify ways for municipal utilities to better finance/refinance short-term debt.

SOLUTION: Principals of FBT Project Finance Advisors worked with the Ohio Treasurer of State to create the Market Access Program (OMAP), which adds the State’s ‘SP-1+’ credit rating to short-term (one year) notes issued by local governments, thereby increasing market access and lowering borrowing costs. In addition we discovered a solution that allows American Municipal Power members to qualify for OMAP to finance/refinance their short-term debt and significantly lower borrowing costs.

RESULTS: Each credit-enhanced note issued saves issuers thousands of dollars in interest cost per $1 million of debt.

Ohio School Districts

CHALLENGE: Create a structure to lower borrowing costs.

SOLUTION: Working closely with Bradley Payne LLC and PRISM Municipal Advisors, principals of FBT Project Finance Advisors created and documented an innovative forward starting interest rate swap “swaption” refinancing program for Ohio school districts. The program lowered borrowing costs on several hundred millions of dollars of debt and brought in millions of dollars in payments from the bank counterparties. The new money financed permanent school improvements that were previously unfunded. The FBT team made certain that the security and payment obligations of each bank counterparty were fully collateralized by U.S. Treasury bonds; and the borrowing costs of the districts were at the lowest competitive rates available.

RESULTS: More than $10 million new money to certain Ohio school districts.