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The City of Cleveland, Ohio



Various Purpose General Obligation Bonds, Series 2023A

September 6, 2023


Image by Sam Mgrdichian

The Series 2023A Bonds were issued to pay certain project costs relating to vehicle acquisition, parks and recreation, public facilities, bridges and roadways, and heavy vehicle acquisition, and pay costs of issuing the Series 2023A Bonds. Due to Ohio legislative requirements, the Series 2023A Bonds had final maturity restrictions by project, a premium restriction, and a par restriction. SWS put together a dashboard for the City, the co-Financial Advisors, and Bond Counsel that organized the information relating to the various restrictions to assist in confirming compliance with the restrictions.

SWS also compiled a rating agency presentation and an investor presentation that highlighted the City’s improving economy and economic development initiatives. The investor presentation was viewed by 19 unique investors.

The transaction was originally slated to price during the week of August 28th, however, it was delayed to the week of September 5th. Given the short Labor Day holiday week, the financing team maintained flexibility between pricing on Wednesday the 6th and Thursday the 7th. With a growing calendar of supply expected Thursday (including $2.58 billion State of California and $1.09 billion Port Authority of New York and New Jersey), SWS recommended accessing the market earlier on Wednesday the 6th. The week prior to pricing, the market saw some positive movements in MMD, and leading up to pricing, rates were relatively stable.

Going into pricing on Wednesday, September 6th, ISM numbers came in stronger than anticipated, driving Treasury rates higher and equity indexes lower. Ultimately, going to market earlier was advantageous for the City, as the transaction received ample attention from investors and MMD saw cuts across most of the curve on both Wednesday and Thursday. The transaction received strong interest, generating more than $314 million of orders from 31 accounts, of which $313 million was placed by SWS; 21 of these investors were potentially new to the City’s general obligation credit (not all bondholders are required to report). The transaction was 5.0x oversubscribed in aggregate, with individual maturities being 2.2x to 9.2x oversubscribed. Given the strong book of orders, SWS proposed to tighten spreads by 2 to 9 basis points across the maturities. The Series 2023A Bonds achieved an all-in TIC of 3.884%.

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