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Turnpike Revenue Bonds Offered to Maine Investors

Maine Turnpike: Thinking Ahead FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 23, 2012
Erin Courtney
CONTACT: Dan Morin (MTA)

Turnpike Revenue Bonds Offered to Maine Investors

S&P upgrades its rating of MTA bonds

PORTLAND, Maine – The Maine Turnpike Authority has announced the upcoming sale of an estimated $138.8 million in Revenue Bonds. Demand for its bonds is expected to be high among investors, a reflection of the Authority’s strong credit ratings.

Approximately $68.8 million in Series 2012A Revenue Bonds and $70 million in Series 2012B Revenue Refunding Bonds will first be available for retail sale through brokers on Monday, February 27. Bond orders from Maine residents will be given priority at the beginning of an anticipated two-day order period.

Standard and Poor’s, one of three major rating agencies, last week upgraded MTA bonds from A+ to AA- placing its rating in line with those of the other two agencies, AA- from Fitch and Aa3 from Moody's. Standard & Poor’s attributed the upgrade to “the authority’s strong financial performance and business position during a period of stagnant traffic growth.” The other two agencies have recently reaffirmed their previous strong ratings.

The Turnpike Board under Chairman Dan Wathen plans to use bond proceeds to finance necessary turnpike capital repairs and improvements, including the rehabilitation and replacement of numerous bridges and modifications to interchanges. In addition to the sale of new bonds in Series A, the Turnpike may issue as much as $70 million of new debt to replace higher cost existing debt .

Executive Director Peter Mills stated, “The upgrade by Standard & Poor’s along with the retention of strong bond ratings by Fitch and Moody’s during the current economic climate reflects sound fiscal management. If current market conditions hold through the sale, Turnpike customers should be pleased by the prospect of saving millions by refinancing debt and streamlining Turnpike operations.”

Earlier this month the MTA presented to the Legislature its 2013 operating budget which projects $4.3 million in spending cuts. The legislature earlier today sent the MTA to Governor LePage for his review.

Interested investors are encouraged to call their personal financial advisors or visit the Maine Turnpike Authority website for direct contact information on qualified firms that can provide a copy of the Official Statement for the bonds. Reference is made to the Offical Statement for details.