The Guthrie Clinic Series 2021 B, C & D
Pricing Date: October 20, 2021
Closing Date: November 3, 2021
$90,540,000 Series 2021B Tax-exempt Bonds
$101,840,000 Series 2021C Taxable Bonds
$41,570,000 Series 2021D R-Floats
The Guthrie Clinic (“Guthrie”) sought to: 1) finance $100 million of qualifying capital projects at various Guthrie campuses through the tax-exempt 2021B financing, 2) raise $100 million for general corporate purposes through the taxable 2021C financing, and 3) address an upcoming mandatory purchase date on existing bank debt through the 2021D R-Float refunding.
- Rating downgrades prior to the financing process due to operating performance
- Near doubling of Guthrie’s debt outstanding
- New management team (CEO and CFO)
- Fed decision to move-up tapering of asset purchases just prior to bond pricing
- Defining Debt Capacity Constraints: Guthrie wanted to maintain its existing credit ratings and Ponder carefully analyzed how much new debt could be issued before Guthrie’s ratings would be pressured.
- Delivering the Guthrie Story: Ponder worked closely with Guthrie management and the banking team to clearly and convincingly convey to the rating agencies why the new debt is critical to Guthrie’s operational/strategic objectives, and why the new management team is uniquely qualified to accomplish these objectives.
- Minimizing Interest Cost: Ponder advocated for structuring the 2044 term bond with a 3% coupon to reduce the overall yield to maturity of the tax-exempt financing, notwithstanding the difficult market conditions.
- Covenant/Security Relief: Ponder led the successful effort to secure existing creditors’ approval for materially improved financial covenants in the Master Trust Indenture and the elimination of mortgage security.
- Lower Variable Rates: Bank debt was refunded with public variable-rate R-floats, lowering the cost and renewal risk.
About The Guthrie Clinic: ‘A/A+’ (S&P/Fitch)
The Guthrie Clinic ( “Guthrie”) is a fully integrated health system serving 12 counties in northern Pennsylvania and south central New York. Guthrie currently operates four acute care hospitals with 540 licensed beds and serves as parent corporation of the Guthrie Medical Group, a 110-year-old multi-specialty group employing 347 physicians and 285 midlevel providers. At FYE 2021, Guthrie’s operating revenue topped $950 million, and it maintained 349 Days of Cash on Hand.