Ziegler Closes $10.36 Million Tax-Exempt Bond Financing For Lead Academy

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Ziegler, a specialty investment bank, is pleased to announce the successful closing of a $10,360,000 fixed-rate financing for Lead Academy in Greenville, South Carolina. Since the fall of 2010, Lead Academy, an “A” rated charter public school, has offered students “left-behind” in traditional public schools a rigorous, college-preparatory education that prepares them for demanding high school curricula and life beyond the classroom.

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“Most folks told us that a school of our size would never be able to find financing. Ziegler, however, took the time to really get to know us and came to a different conclusion,” stated Rodney Johnson, Lead Academy’s Principal and Founder.

Ziegler, a specialty investment bank, is pleased to announce the successful closing of a $10,360,000 fixed-rate financing for Lead Academy in Greenville, South Carolina. Since the fall of 2010, Lead Academy, an “A” rated charter public school, has offered students “left-behind” in traditional public schools a rigorous, college-preparatory education that prepares them for demanding high school curricula and life beyond the classroom.

The Series 2016 bond offering is the culmination of a 19-month partnership between Lead Academy and Ziegler. Having operated out of three different temporary locations over its first six years, the School turned to Ziegler to help it secure a permanent facility that would allow it to grow to 432 students in grades K-8. Ziegler provided Lead Academy’s management team with the market data and financial analysis necessary to fully assess their financing options. Supported by Ziegler’s analysis, the School’s Board made the decision to acquire a 7.9 acre campus in the heart of Greenville and build a 47,000 square-foot facility that would nearly double the School’s enrollment capacity. Because of the new campus, Lead Academy has already been able to add grades K-4 to its successful junior high school program. In addition to funding the acquisition of the property and construction of the new facility, the Series 2016 Bonds refinanced an existing bridge-loan and reimbursed Lead Academy for planning and site-work costs previously incurred for the project.    

“When we began this process, we only had 136 students and a vision. Most folks told us that a school of our size would never be able to find financing. Ziegler, however, took the time to really get to know us and came to a different conclusion. Because they listened to our needs, spent time in the school, and met with students, parents, teachers and members of our board, Ziegler was able to effectively communicate to investors what makes Lead Academy unique. As a result, what we able to achieve exceeded all of our expectations,” stated Rodney Johnson, Lead Academy’s Principal and Founder.

Tiny McLaughlin, Senior Vice President in Ziegler’s charter school practice, commented, “The moment I first stepped into a classroom at Lead Academy, I knew I was seeing something very special. Because of Ziegler’s longstanding relationships with leading buyers of charter school bonds, we succeeded in breaking through the “noise” of the extraordinarily active tax-exempt bond market and were able to get investors to focus on this outstanding School. Lead Academy’s mission is to help every child achieve at an exceptional level, regardless of background or circumstance. All of us at Ziegler are proud that we could help Lead Academy secure a permanent location and expand their reach.”

Beginning with our very first bond offering in 1913, Ziegler has been a leader and innovator in school finance. We continue that tradition with our dedicated services to the national charter school market. Ziegler provides its charter school clients with capital for financing new construction, refinancing existing debt or acquiring existing school facilities. As one of the few financial services firms in the country with a dedicated team of charter school facility finance professionals, Ziegler provides the market insights and analytical data needed for schools to achieve their strategic vision.

For further information on the structure and use of this issue, please see the Official Statement on the Electronic Municipal Market Access system's Document Archive.

For more information about Ziegler, please visit us at http://www.Ziegler.com.

About Ziegler:
The Ziegler Companies, Inc., together with its affiliates (Ziegler), is a privately held, 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, as well as general municipal and structured finance. Headquartered in Chicago, IL with regional and branch offices throughout the U.S., Ziegler provides its clients with capital raising, corporate finance, FHA/HUD, strategic advisory services and research. 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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Mary Therese Pembroke
Ziegler
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