Upgraded bond rating attributed to sound fiscal management, traffic growth, steady and sustainable revenue growth above forecast
Tampa, FL August 16, 2017 The Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority (THEA) is extremely pleased to announce favorable ratings from two highly respected rating agencies.
Standard & Poors (S&P) Global Ratings has raised its long-term and underlying ratings on THEAs outstanding revenue bonds from A to A+. At the same time, S&P also assigned its A+ rating to THEAs Series 2017 Bonds for the financing of the Selmon West Extension. Among the independent expressway authorities in Florida, THEA has the highest rating from S&P.
In addition, Moodys Investor Services assigned its rating of A2 on THEAs Series 2017 Bonds and affirms the A2 on THEAs outstanding parity senior bonds.
THEAs management team, traffic and revenue consultant, general engineering consultant, financial advisor and Board Chairman presented to both rating agencies in July. THEAs team reported stronger than forecasted traffic and revenue growth in recent years, steady population growth that provides adequate demand for the expressway, and the strong demand for the Selmon Expressway as an essential commuter facility. The A+ and A2 ratings from S&P and Moodys respectively are reflective of their confidence in THEAs financial strength and capabilities of operating and maintaining the Selmon Expressway.
The agency will go to the bond market at the end of this month to finance the Selmon West Extension project. This is THEAs first major construction project as an independent authority.
Having S&P upgrade THEAs rating to A+ and Moodys affirmation of its A2 rating will result in lower borrowing costs for the Authority, said Amy Lettelleir, THEAs chief financial officer.
THEA has worked hard to get and keep the Authority in a strong financial position. This allows us to do more transportation projects for the Tampa Bay area, all without adding to the states debt, said Joe Waggoner, executive director, THEA.
Board Chair Vincent J Cassidy said, I couldnt be more proud of our leadership team and all they have accomplished for the authority and our community. The raising of our bond rating is recognition of the successful execution of our strategy as well as how we manage our cash flow and our projects, including the upcoming $250 million expansion of our system.
As the owner and operator of the Selmon Expressway, the Tampa Hillsborough County Expressway Authoritys (THEA) mission is to provide safe, reliable, and financially sustainable transportation services to the Tampa Bay region while reinvesting customer-based revenues back into the community.
Our vision is to lead, partner, and implement safe, economically sound, and innovative multi-modal transportation solutions for our Tampa Bay Community.
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