Three Norton Rose Fulbright transactions win Bond Buyer deals of the year awards

Press release - Recognition November 4, 2019

Norton Rose Fulbright's public finance team recently won three Bond Buyer Deal of the Year awards, deals that will be among the ten issuances under consideration for the national Deal of the Year Award.

Winner of Bond Buyer's Far West Region Deal of the Year Award was the US$331 million capital grants receipts revenue bond for the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG). The bond will help fund the Mid-Coast Corridor Transit Project, a nearly 11-mile extension of the light-rail San Diego Trolley Blue Line. A US team, led by Victor Hsu (Los Angeles),served as bond counsel and included Russ Trice, Christina Hansen (Los Angeles), Stephen Watson (Washington, DC) and Cliff Gerber (San Francisco).

The SANDAG deal stood out as an innovative transit financing and may serve as a model for other issuers wishing to accelerate major transit projects funded by Federal Transit Administration full-funding grant agreements.

Winner of the Southwest Region Deal of the Year Award was the City of Austin's US$464.5 million offering of taxable revenue bonds to fund acquisition of a biomass-fired power plant for the city's electric utility. The deal established a way to eliminate an above-market power purchase agreement, a cause of consternation for the city and Austin Energy.

The US team, led by Bob Dransfield (Dallas), served as the city's bond counsel and included Joy Ellis (Dallas) and Steve Kuntz (Houston).

Winner of the Health Care Financing Deal of the Year Award was the US$6.5 billion CommonSpirit Health financing, the largest ever by a not-for-profit health system. The financing consisted of both a complex debt restructuring of nearly 50 series of debt and new money reimbursement. It generated the largest order book for a municipal not-for-profit transaction, with US$40 billion in orders.

A US team acted as counsel for the underwriters. The team was led by Jerry McGovern (San Francisco) and included Scott Kortmeyer (Dallas), Mary Kimura, Michele Dulik (San Francisco), Jonathan Guz, Christina Hansen (Los Angeles), Andi Wilt, Michael Swartz (Denver) and Peter Smith (Austin).

The national Deal of the Year Award will be announced December 4 at a ceremony in New York City.

The Bond Buyer's editorial board evaluated a range of factors when judging submissions, including creativity, the challenging conditions in putting together a complex transaction, the potential for the deal to serve as a model for other financings, and the public purpose of the deal.