MILWAUKEE, Nov. 22, 2011
A Baird Public Finance transaction has been honored as a 2011 “Deal of the Year” by The Bond Buyer, the only national daily newspaper committed to the municipal bond industry. The deal, the sale of $9.5 million in financial recovery bonds by the City of Ecorse, Mich., was recognized in the small issue category (issuers with annual revenue of $70 million or less). Baird served as the underwriter on the sale.
The financial recovery bonds were issued in order to generate revenue to pay $8.7 million in court-ordered payments that the City owed Wayne County and the Ecorse Public Schools. Baird helped the City – which had been operating under State receivership since November 2009 – to create a bond structure that would allow market access and complete the transaction before all of the judgments would be placed on the City’s tax roll. The transaction proved successful, gaining market access, an S&P "A" rating and significant bondholder protections through the unique structure.
“This award is another great example of Baird’s top-notch expertise and client service,” said Keith Kolb, Baird’s Director of Public Finance. “Despite the daunting situation, we helped our clients find a workable solution that effectively met their financing needs.”
Thomas Gavin, Managing Director in Baird’s Naperville, Ill. Public Finance office and Brian Lefler Director of Baird's Lansing, Mich. Public Finance office, collaboratively worked with City officials and their advisors on the deal jointly added, “The severity of the city’s finances and the State receivership really pushed our financing team to think creatively and work together to make the transaction a reality. It was very rewarding to create a deal structure that solved a financial problem for the City and can be utilized by other issuers in similar situations.”
This is the fourth time a Baird-advised public finance transaction has been honored by The Bond Buyer. In 2005, the newspaper recognized the Detroit Retirement Systems Funding Trust’s $1.44 billion taxable offering, which was the state’s largest municipal transaction on record. Baird, through its Naperville, Ill. office, served as co-financial advisor on that deal. In 2007, The Bond Buyer awarded another transaction advised by Baird’s Lansing, Mich. office, “Midwest Regional Deal of the Year”a $500 million issue of taxable school loan revolving revenue and refunding bonds by the State of Michigan. And in 2009, the newspaper awarded the “Nontraditional Financing Deal of the Year” to the City of Detroit for providing a way to negotiate the elimination of a $400 million swap termination payment. Baird’s Naperville, Ill. office served as financial advisor on that deal.
About Baird’s Public Finance Group
Baird is a major underwriter and financial advisor to municipalities, schools, government agencies, nonprofits and corporations. During the past five years, Baird has served as advisor, underwriter or placement agent for debt issues exceeding $110 billion. For the first nine months of 2011, Baird ranked as the No. 1 municipal bond underwriter in the nation based on the number of competitive and negotiated issues, according to Thomson Reuters. Baird also ranked among the top 10 underwriters of issues of $100 million or less, based on the par value of these issues. Baird was honored by The Bond Buyer as underwriter for the “Small Issue Deal of the Year in 2011, “Nontraditional Financing Deal of the Year” in 2009 and advisor of the “Midwest Regional Deal of the Year” in 2007.
Baird is an employee-owned, international wealth management, capital markets, private equity and asset management firm with offices in the United States, Europe and Asia. Established in 1919, Baird has more than 2,600 associates serving the needs of individual, corporate, institutional and municipal clients. Baird oversees and manages client assets of $89 billion. Committed to being a great place to work, Baird ranked number 14 on the FORTUNE’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” in 2011 -- its eighth consecutive year on the list. Baird’s principal operating subsidiaries are Robert W. Baird & Co. in the United States and Robert W. Baird Group Ltd. in Europe. Baird also has an operating subsidiary in Asia supporting Baird’s private equity operations. For more information, please visit Baird’s Web site at rwbaird.com.