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NTTA Bond Sale Allows Project More Than 40 Years on the Drawing Board to Clear Final Hurdle

Texas Business reports:  PLANO—The North Texas Tollway Authority financial team successfully executed the sale of $640,535,000 of bonds for the acquisition, development and construction of the Chisholm Trail Parkway.

The Chisholm Trail Parkway will join the President George Bush Turnpike Western Extension in making up the NTTA’s Special Projects System.  The Series 2011 Bonds will be secured by the tolls on the Special Projects System and will be further supported by the Toll Equity Loan from the Texas Department of Transportation. The SPS Series 2011 Bonds follow the inaugural issuance of bonds secured by the new stand-alone credit of the NTTA Special Projects System in April to finance the PGBT WE.

 The NTTA System is providing a $400 million contribution to be used for both the PGBT WE and the Chisholm Trail Parkway projects.  The favorable financing of PGBT WE allowed for a larger portion of the $400 million contribution to be used for the Chisholm Trail Parkway project.

 “It was a good day to be in the bond market,” said NTTA chief financial officer Janice Davis in a prepared statement. “The uncertainty in the stock market, the strength of the Chisholm Trail Parkway project and the strong credit combined for a successful transaction.”

The issues were heavily oversubscribed and surpassed interest rate expectations. The sale was comprised of:

  $73,665,000 in taxable bonds with yields ranging from  3.269% to 3.869%

  $566,870,000 in tax exempt bonds with yields that range from 2.59% on the 2019 maturities  to 4.24% on the 2032 maturities

The SPS Series 2011 Bonds are not obligations of the NTTA System or the State of Texas.  The NTTA received a AA rating from Standard & Poors and a AA- rating from Fitch Rating Services for the bonds.

The underwriting syndicate that priced the SPS Series 2011 Bonds was led by: Senior Underwriting Manager J.P. Morgan Chase; Co-Senior Underwriting Managers Barclays Capital and Ramirez and Co. Inc; Co-Managers Bank of American Merrill Lynch, Jefferies and Company and Rice Financial Products Company. Other finance team members were Co-Bond Counsel McCall Parkhurst & Horton LLP and Mahomes Bolden PC; Financial Advisors RBC Capital Markets and TKG Associates; and Underwriter’s Counsel Andrews Kurth.The Chisholm Trail Parkway is a limited-access toll road that will extend from Fort Worth’s central business district to southwest Fort Worth, continuing south to Cleburne. Formerly known as Southwest

Parkway/Chisholm Trail, the new corridor in southwest Tarrant and northwest Johnson counties will be approximately 27 miles long. The toll road is expected to open to traffic in mid-2014.

The North Texas Tollway Authority, a political subdivision of the state of Texas, is authorized to acquire, construct, maintain, repair and operate turnpike projects in the north Texas region.

The NTTA serves Collin, Dallas, Denton and Tarrant counties and is responsible for the NTTA System, consisting of the Dallas North Tollway, President George Bush Turnpike, President George Bush Turnpike Eastern Extension, Sam Rayburn Tollway, Addison Airport Toll Tunnel, Lewisville Lake Toll Bridge and the Mountain Creek Lake Bridge.  The NTTA is also responsible for the NTTA's Special Projects System which consists of the President George Bush Turnpike Western Extension and, after the SPS Series 2011 Bonds are issued, the Chisholm Trail Parkway.  The NTTA is able to raise capital for construction projects through the issuance of turnpike revenue bonds.

 NTTA toll projects are not a part of the state highway system and receive no direct tax funding. Tolls are collected to repay debt and to operate and maintain the roadways.