December 9, 2021

Refunding of Bonds Generates Significant Savings

ATLANTA - The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) Board of Directors today approved a resolution to refund $369.6 million of its Series 2014A and 2015A bonds, saving the Authority approximately $62 million ($47.3 million in present value) over the life of the bonds and reducing MARTA’s debt expense by approximately $2.6 million per year.  

The new Series 2021D and 2021E  taxable bonds are certified as Green Bonds by Kestrel, an independent verifier, confirming that the financed projects advance MARTA’s goals to reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions and provide access to clean transportation.  

MARTA has been monitoring the market and putting pieces in place for the last several months to execute this refunding. “I am pleased to announce that MARTA has successfully executed a refinancing of its Series 2014A and 2015A bonds resulting in the savings of approximately $62 million in debt service,” said MARTA General Manager and CEO Jeffrey Parker. “This savings enhances MARTA’s financial position, allows for further investment in the state of good repair of our system, and demonstrates MARTA’s commitment to sustainability.”

In addition to being MARTA’s first issuance of Green Bonds, it was also MARTA’s first time to offer a tender or exchange of investor bonds to enhance savings. “This was a complicated transaction with several moving pieces that broadened our investor base, provided investors with options, and allowed the Authority to generate additional savings,” said MARTA Chief Financial Officer Raj Srinath.

This highly successful transaction was a team effort led by MARTA’s financial advisors, PFM Financial Advisors, legal teams from Holland and Knight, Kutak-Rock, Townsend and Lockett, and Hunton Andrews Kurth, as well as Globic Advisors, Kestrel Verifiers, US Bank, Terminus Analytics, and MARTA staff. Underwriters for the refunding were senior managed by Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC and J.P. Morgan with assistance from Loop Capital, Estrada Hinojosa, and Blaylock Van.

The bonds were rated AA+ by S&P and Aa2 from Moody’s, both with a stable outlook.


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