Lake Charles Memorial Health System is an acute care provider with three facilities totaling 394 licensed beds located in Lake Charles, Louisiana. The System’s total operating revenues for fiscal year ended December 31, 2018, were $380.9 million. Warbird Municipal Advisors served as the System’s Financial Advisor on a $104.9 million tax-exempt bond issue to refinance existing debt and raise proceeds for new projects. This bond issue closed successfully on September 3, 2019.
Memorial Health System’s previous bond issue was sold as “Non Rated”, and the System had never sold bonds using its own credit rating. The System operates in a challenging service area, ran operating deficits in the early 2000’s, and had just 36.4 days cash on hand at December 31, 2018. The System’s prior bonds could be refinanced for savings and it also had four series of bank loans that could be refinanced for further savings.
Warbird provided advice to the System on its credit profile, ran a Request for Proposals process to select either a commercial bank loan or a bond underwriter, and helped to develop a refinancing structure to best meet the needs of the System. Warbird also assisted the System in preparing a compelling presentation for the rating agencies. As a result of these efforts, the System’s 2019 Bonds obtained a rating of BB+ from S&P.
The refinancing and restructuring of the prior debt allowed Memorial Health System to lower its overall interest cost and lower its maximum annual debt service requirements by almost $6.0 million. The Series 2019 Bonds were structured as 20-year level debt service amortization and priced at an all-in cost of funds of 3.54%.