GLWA receives ratings upgrades and executes money saving refunding for regional system while generating funding for Detroit local water system improvements

DETROIT – The Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA) received positive ratings actions from all three ratings agencies – S&P Global Ratings (S&P), Moody’s Investors Service (Moody’s) and Fitch Ratings (Fitch) in early March 2020 in anticipation of a bond refunding and new money transaction.

That transaction was paused for over a month, as a result of volatile market conditions attributable to the COVID-19 pandemic. Capitalizing on recent investor interest, combined with an acceptable level of market stability, GLWA was able to successfully price $377.5 million of taxable advance refunding bonds to achieve cash flow savings of $103 million on April 30, 2020. In addition, $85 million par value of new tax-exempt bonds were sold to provide $100 million in bond proceeds for City of Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD) water system improvements. The arbitrage yield of 2.98 percent on the new tax-exempt money borrowing is among the lowest 30-year borrowing rates achieved by GLWA or DWSD.