Airport concept for Columbia Capital Airport Credits Case Study

Case Study 04


The City of Chicago engaged Columbia in 2016 to advise on its $2.1 billion Chicago O’Hare International Airport, General Airport Senior Lien Revenue Refunding and Improvement Bonds, Series 2016ABCDEFG.

The Series 2016ABC were issued for current and advance refunding purposes. Columbia worked with its co-advisor and the lead underwriter to analyze the inventory of potential refunding candidates. The City ultimately determined to refund bonds that had at least 5% present value savings coupled with escrow efficiency of at least 70% (for advance refunding portion only). The refunding structure was a standard level annual savings with a few minor adjustments.

Immediately after the refunding transactions were priced, Columbia worked with the finance team to prepare the new money transactions, Series 2016DEFG. The new money transactions were sold to finance a variety of major projects including but not limited to a centralized de-icing pad, a new runway, a fuel line relocation, a cross-field taxiing system. The bonds were amortized based on the useful life of the projects with capitalized interest until the projects were expected to come on-line. The different series designations were determined based on the specific revenue pledges and the AMT status.

Columbia coordinated with and analyzed bond insurance quotes from Assured Guaranty and Build America Mutual. During pricing negotiations, Columbia served as the City’s advocate and advised on appropriate pricing levels to ensure market demand at beneficial prices to the City. The City’s sales were successful and generated orders from over 50 separate investment companies.