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Grand River Dam Authority bond issuance comes with strong ratings


From the August 9, 2017 issue of Public Power Daily

Originally published August 8, 2017

By Paul Ciampoli
News Director

A $91.3 million Grand River Dam Authority bond issue will go forward in August with an “A1” rating from Moody’s Investors Service, and an “A+” rating from Fitch Ratings, GRDA reported on Aug. 7.

Moody’s and Fitch, which assigned the ratings in early August, also gave the GRDA issue a “stable” outlook.

Proceeds from the bond issue will be used to refund a previous issue, noted GRDA Chief Financial Officer Eddie Rothermel. “We’re pleased that we can move forward with this issue, carrying these strong ratings from Moody’s and Fitch,” he said.

Pricing will take place on August 8 and 9.

According to Moody’s, the stable outlook reflects “expectations that GRDA’s cost competitiveness and improved financial profile will be maintained as its industrial load requirement increases.”

Fitch noted that GRDA’s “financial metrics continued to strengthen in 2016” with GRDA’s financial projections through 2021 showing a strong debt service coverage.

GRDA said the ratings on the latest bond issue are consistent with GRDA’s trend of improvement in overall credit ratings, dating back to 2005. Currently, the Authority maintains the highest credit ratings in its history from Moody’s and Fitch.

“This trend affirms the effort that our board, staff and workforce have put into making GRDA a stable, efficient and financially sound agency,” said GRDA CEO Dan Sullivan. “We’re pleased to move forward with a bond issue that will help to save our ratepayers money.”

Headquartered in Vinita, Okla., GRDA is Oklahoma’s state-owned electric utility and is fully funded by revenues from electric and water sales instead of taxes.

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