Ligonier Valley School District $10,000,000 General Obligation Bonds Series A of 2018 (Green Bonds) $3,595,000 General Obligation Bonds Series B of 2018 (Federally Taxable) Janney Role: Sole Manager
In January of 2018, Janney served as sole managing underwriter for a $13.595 million, two-series general obligation bond issue for the Ligonier Valley School District (the “District”), located in Westmoreland County, PA.
The District was borrowing new money to finance its infrastructure initiatives under its Energy Efficiency Project, which made it a prime candidate for what would be the first k-12 school district green bond issue in the country and the second green bond issue in Pennsylvania. The District partnered with Constellation Energy Group, a subsidiary of Exelon Corporation, to identify and generate financial and energy consumption savings projections. The combination of reducing energy consumption, reducing operating costs and the District’s detailed description of the project and accounting of the use of proceeds resulted in Moody’s assigning its Green Bond Assessment of “GB1” (Excellent). Additionally, the District maintains an “A1” standalone credit rating.
During the pre-marketing period, Janney’s banking team and underwriting desk reached out to all of the Firm’s institutional sales persons that cover accounts interested in green initiatives. The feedback received consistently indicated that even for “green funds,” yield remains a primary concern. With yield being the priority, these funds showed a stronger preference for taxable bonds, or alternatively, non-bank qualified tax-exempt bonds. Series A of 2018 was bank qualified which made it unattractive to most accounts. However, the federally taxable Series B of 2018 bonds were sold to a fund with interest in green initiatives.