Friday, January 8, 2010

State Successfully Sells $3.466 Billion of General Obligation Bonds to Fund Employee Pensions

From the Governor's Office of Management and Budget
Thursday, January 7, 2010

CHICAGO – January 7, 2010. The Governor’s Office of Management and Budget of the State of Illinois today is pleased to announce the successful sale of $3.466 Billion in taxable General Obligation Bonds at a rate of 3.854% to be deposited into the Pension Contribution Fund. Funds from these bonds will reimburse or fund the State’s required deposit to its pension systems for fiscal year 2010. The bond principal amount will be paid in equal installments over the next five years.

“This is a very successful deal for the State of Illinois and the 3.854% rate is proof the State’s economy is strong,” said Governor Pat Quinn. “Investors have expressed confidence in our State and have allowed us to meet our Pension Contribution for this fiscal year."

Close to 200 investors, including major American, European, and Asian investors purchased these bonds. Demand exceeded $8 Billion resulting in an oversubscription of $3.9 Billion-a 2 to 1 coverage. The oversubscription allowed pricing to be improved 15 basis points over initial indications.

“The level of demand for this bond issuance reflects the markets belief in the State’s long term financial strength, said David Vaught, Director of the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget.

Eleven Banks participated in this transaction including J.P. Morgan, Goldman Sachs, and Loop Capital Markets who served as Joint Book Running Senior Managers. Mesirow Financial served as Senior Manager. Seven other firms completed the underwriting syndicate. Peralta Garcia Solutions served as financial advisor to the State in connection with this financing.

“I’m very pleased with the hard work and great execution provided to the State by our bank group,” said John Sinsheimer, Director of Capital Markets for the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget.

This is the State's first issuance of medium term notes for its pension system and is the second largest deal ever done by the State. It is one of only a handful of deals this size ever completed by state issuers.

The General Assembly authorized these bonds during the July 2009 Session. In excess of $800 Million from this bond sale will be used to reimburse the Common School Fund and the General Revenue Fund for monies already advanced to the pension funds.

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