Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority (VIWAPA)
In 2010, SCA Director (Jerome Cox) led a $85 million financing for the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority. The transaction contained a refunding that provided debt service savings but also contained approximately $37 of million Build America Bonds (BABs). BABs were special taxable bonds created under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 that could be issued by municipal entities. These bonds provide a reimbursement to the issuer or tax credit to the investor of approximately 35% of the interest expense annually.
At the time, BABs were just beginning to be issued actively in the market; however, none of U.S. territories had issued BABs. As further background, prior to fiscal crisis in Puerto Rico, most trading for Virgin Islands bonds was based on Puerto Rico bonds. The Authority was essentially setting the market for BABs in this portion of municipal market. Mr. Cox prepared an investor presentation with commentary from the Authority, which was recorded and posted online along with the official statement. Additionally, Mr. Cox assisted the Authority in conference calls with key investors that focused on management, alternative energy initiatives, financials and capital projects.
Client: Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority (VIWAPA)
SCA Team: Jerome Cox, Trenton Allen, Giulia Motolese
Customer Segment: Municipal utility
Technologies: Automated metering infrastructure (AMI)
The Authority successfully issued $85 million bonds (including $37 million BABs) to refinance existing bonds and finance key improvements that included funding for a submarine cable to St. John, Richmond substation improvements and the Gregory Willocks (Mid-Island) substation. Many “BBB” and U.S. territorial entities issued BABs following the Authority’s bond issue including: Government Development Bank of Puerto Rico and Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA). The Authority achieved its lowest all-financing costs for bonds at 4.67% by issuing BABs instead of traditional tax-exempt bonds. The bond issue was also structured to maximize debt service savings from the refunding bonds in the next two fiscal years.