The Board of Education of the City of Newark, NJ
School Energy Savings Obligation Refunding Bonds, Series 2021 (Sustainability Bonds)
July 15, 2021
This was the Board’s first issuance after transitioning back to local Board control after 25 years of State control
Bond proceeds were used to finance the costs of the Board’s energy savings improvement program through the installation of energy conservation measures and related work at various school sites.
SWS Led Comprehensive Marketing Efforts
SWS determined that it would be cost-effective to utilize bond insurance to lower the all-in cost and to satisfy select investor demand; SWS managed the competitive bid process to procure insurance leading to a winning bid 30 bps below initial estimates.
To inform and educate investors about the transaction and the school district, SWS prepared an EMMA notice and a detailed investor presentation. SWS led the ESG designation efforts which led to the Sustainability Bonds certification verified by Kestrel and BAM’s GreenStar designation.
Successful Pricing Results from Robust Demand
After a positive pre-marketing period, there were stable tones in the tax-exempt market and Treasury yields were declining which allowed SWS to tighten the pre-pricing scale by up to 2 bps.
The transaction received significant interest from investors and after the order period, maturities were oversubscribed by 5.4x to 12.7x. Overall, the transaction generated over $850 million of priority orders and was 9.1x oversubscribed including orders from 47 unique investors. Given the very strong order book, SWS further tightened spreads by 8 to 14 bps across all maturities.
Due to SWS’ strong marketing and pricing results, as well as the backstop of bond insurance, the Board achieved an all-in TIC of 2.067% and generated nearly $1 million of additional proceeds to be used for the projects due to significant reduction in borrowing costs since the initial pre-marketing levels.