Santee Cooper approves bond issue

The Santee Cooper Board of Directors approved Friday the sale of $424,570,000 in refunding and new money bonds. The bond issue, passed in a special board meeting, includes $39,725,000 tax-exempt refunding Series D bonds, $284,845,000 2009 tax-exempt Series E bonds, and $100,000,000 2009 taxable Series F bonds. The issue gained AA from Fitch Ratings, an AA- from Standard & Poor’s, and an Aa2 from Moody’s Investment Service.
A Santee Cooper media release states that these agencies affirmed strong long-term ratings for the utility as well, including a statement from Moody’s: “The long-term rating takes into consideration Santee Cooper’s strong management, competitive cost structure, and well-established record of stable finances including sound debt service coverage margins and internal liquidity.”
Proceeds are slated for extraordinary working capital for a recent judgment regarding the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Cooper River Rediversion Project, capital needs associated with pre-construction activities for Santee Cooper’s expansion of the V.C. Summer Nuclear Generating Station with SCE&G, and to refinance a portion of the utility’s outstanding debt.
Lead underwriter for this transaction is Goldman Sachs & Co. The underwriting team also includes Citigroup Global Markets Inc., Merrill Lynch & Co., and Morgan Stanley & Co.
Santee Cooper is South Carolina’s state-owned electric and water utility, and the state’s largest power producer.