Chicago, IL (PRWEB) September 10, 2012
Ziegler, a specialty investment banking firm, is pleased to announce the successful closing of $22,805,000 financing for Lee County Community Charter Schools (LCCCS). LCCCS is a Florida single-member LLC created for the purpose of serving as the borrower on a Series 2007 Bond issue for the benefit of schools operated by the Lee Charter Foundation, Inc. (LCF). LCF, the sole member of LCCCS, was incorporated in September 2001 to assist with the establishment, development, and administration of charter schools. LCF currently holds charters for seven operating charter schools including a new school that opened in the fall of 2012. Of these seven schools, six are included in LCCCS—the remaining school is not included in the obligated group for either the Series 2007 or Series 2012 Bond issues.
LCCCS served as the borrower on $80,520,000 of tax-exempt Series 2007A and $1,645,000 of taxable Series 2007B Bonds issued through the Lee County IDA. Proceeds were used to fund the acquisition of four school facilities by LCCCS. Proceeds of the Series 2012 supplemental issue were used to refinance an outstanding bank loan that funded construction of an expansion facility occupied by two of the six LCCCS schools (Gateway Charter School and Gateway Intermediate Charter School), as well as the acquisition of a new K-8 facility (Manatee Charter School).
The Series 2007 Bonds were rated “BB” by Standard & Poor’s at issuance, and were subsequently upgraded to “BB+” in 2011. Although the addition of a new school to the obligated group resulted in a downgrade to “BB” upon issuance of the Series 2012 Bonds, it is anticipated that the bonds will again be upgraded once Manatee Charter School reaches stabilization—particularly considering LCCCS’ strong historical performance. LCCCS achieved historical pro-forma coverage in excess of 1:1 in FY 2010 and 2011, easily meeting the additional bonds test even without the add-back of over $800,000 of non-continuing rent expense for the Gateway Expansion facility. Enrollment has grown steadily, driven in large part by the solid academic performance of the schools—of the five LCCCS schools that carry a letter grade (Manatee had not completed a year of operations), three are rated “A,” the strongest rating, with the remaining two being rated “B.”
Despite not having underwritten the 2007 issue, Ziegler was able to leverage the existing investor base on the Series 2007 bonds as well as bring new buyers to the table. Ziegler’s investment banking and sales & trading teams worked with each investor and the borrower to structure a final covenant package that accommodated the request of the various parties. Thanks to these focused efforts, Ziegler was able to price the issue aggressively, continuing its ongoing support of the CSUSA charter network.
“Ziegler was again honored to work with the Charter Schools USA team on the LCCCS transaction,” Michael Braun, Director at Ziegler stated. “Charter Schools USA and LCCCS have a long standing history of providing an excellent education alternative to the residents of Lee County, Florida. With the addition of the new school in Manatee County, they expect to broaden that mission to a new area of Southwest Florida.”
With more than 100 years of experience, Ziegler is a recognized leader in the educational sector throughout the U.S. That tradition continues today with its dedicated services to the charter school market nationally. Ziegler is ranked as the number one underwriter (in par value) for charter schools in 2011 according to the Electronic Municipal Market Access database (EMMA). Ziegler provides creative, tailored financial solutions for any type of charter school. Ziegler is one of the few financial services firms in the country that has a dedicated team of charter school finance professionals.
For more information about Ziegler Charter Finance, please visit us at http://www.Ziegler.com/CharterSchools.
The Ziegler Companies, Inc. (PINKSHEETS: ZGCO) together with its affiliates (Ziegler) is a specialty investment bank with unique expertise in complex credit structures and advisory services. Nationally, Ziegler is ranked as one of the leading investment banking firms in its specialty sectors of healthcare, senior living, religion and education finance, as well as corporate finance and FHA/HUD. Headquartered in Chicago, IL with regional and branch offices throughout the U.S., Ziegler creates tailored financial solutions including bond financing, advisory, private placement, seed capital, M&A, risk and asset management. Ziegler serves institutional and individual investors through its wealth management and capital markets distribution channels.
Certain comments in this news release represent forward-looking statements made pursuant to the provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. This client’s experience may not be representative of the experience of other clients, nor is it indicative of future performance or success. The forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, in particular, the overall financial health of the securities industry, the strength of the healthcare sector of the U.S. economy and the municipal securities marketplace, the ability of the Company to underwrite and distribute securities, the market value of mutual fund portfolios and separate account portfolios advised by the Company, the volume of sales by its retail brokers, the outcome of pending litigation, and the ability to attract and retain qualified employees.
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