S&P Global Ratings Upgrades Port Authority Rating To “A” For Northwest Ohio Bond Fund
S&P Global Ratings (S&P) recently announced an upgrade to the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority’s Northwest Ohio Bond Fund rating from an “A-” to an “A” investment-grade rating with a stable outlook.
“This is the highest rating the Northwest Ohio Bond Fund has received in its 36-year history,” said Thomas J. Winston, President and CEO of the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority. “This is a significant achievement and a reflection of S&P’s confidence in the staff and board of directors’ decision-making and affirms the continued success and enhancement of the Bond Fund. We anticipate this upgrade will expand the demand of buyers in the capital markets, resulting in a lower cost of capital for businesses to invest in our region.”
Key factors contributing to the S&P “A” upgrade include an increased investment in the Bond Fund Reserves, the diversification of projects, and a zero percent default rate to bondholders. In addition, the Northwest Ohio Bond Fund has a current reserve-to-loan ratio of 45 percent, made possible by contributions from the Ohio Manufacturers Association, JobsOhio, and Lucas County. The Port Authority also invested $3 million in 2022, with an additional $400,000 commitment per year over the next five years, for a total investment of $5 million.
The Port Authority’s Northwest Ohio Bond Fund was established in 1988 and has allowed the Port Authority to help finance new business and business expansion throughout the state. To date, the Northwest Ohio Bond Fund has provided over $435 million in bond financing for 98 projects. Its portfolio includes local and regional companies, such as Owens Corning, The Andersons, Continental Real Estate Companies, Dana Holding Corporation, Nagle Companies, and Toledo School for the Arts.
The Northwest Ohio Bond Fund provides financing for projects from $2 million to $25 million, and fixed interest rates for the full term of the bonds. The fund typically provides financing up to 30 years for land, public infrastructure, and (owner-occupied) building projects, as well as financing up to 15 years for equipment. The Northwest Ohio Bond Fund issues tax-exempt bonds for manufacturing, non-profit 501(c)3, and governmental operations, and taxable bonds for all other private sector businesses.
The Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority has developed a national reputation for innovative business financing, assisting more than 900 economic development projects representing a total investment of more than $2 billion while helping to create and retain more than 21,000 jobs. The Northwest Ohio Bond Fund is one of several financing mechanisms available through the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority.
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