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Finance

FBT Project Finance Advisors LLC

Established by Frost Brown Todd in 2015, FBT Project Finance Advisors LLC is a registered municipal advisor with the SEC and MSRB. Our municipal finance and consulting team has worked on project finance solutions for the delivery and implementation of hundreds of infrastructure projects. We have extensive experience consulting on public and project finance projects, including design-build and DBFOM (design build finance operate and maintain) public-private partnerships utilizing availability payments, tolls, at-risk and other innovative delivery methods.

We counsel clients from the earliest stages of each project through financing, construction, and project administration. We help evaluate options such as SPV (special purpose vehicle) revenue finance,  P1 (traditional public finance), P2 (public-public transfers and tax-exempt finance) and P3 (public-private partnerships), in order to identify the funding sources best suited to our client’s project goals. Most important, our team recognizes that when it comes to governmental operations, capital needs, and project finance, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. We work with clients to develop solutions that fit their community’s needs, protect their balance sheet, and deliver bottom-line results.

  • David A. Rogers

    Member

    Columbus, OH

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We focus on municipal consulting in the areas of infrastructure finance, economic development and redevelopment, real estate finance, healthcare finance, securitizations, and public-private partnerships.

Strategic Advice

Our municipal finance and consulting team has a wealth of experience working as general counsel, bond counsel, issuer’s counsel, and as governmental advisors. We’ve worked with hundreds of local government entities and developers utilizing the financing capabilities of those governments. From cities and villages, to counties, townships and states, to hospitals, nonprofit organizations and real estate developers, our team understands the unique fiscal, operating and business challenges municipalities and private companies face in providing infrastructure and services to taxpayers, particularly when clients are faced with a shrinking pool of revenue.

We provide strategic advice and focused legal services in the following areas:

  • Project Finance
  • Municipal bonds
  • PACE finance and bonds
  • Public/private partnerships
  • Health care finance
  • Debt restructuring
  • Economic development
  • Redevelopment
  • Tax compliance
  • Tax increment financing (TIF) and Special Districts
  • EB-5 finance
  • Derivatives and monetizations

Compliance & Contract Review

We assist clients in both pre-issuance and post-issuance compliance with local laws and federal tax and securities laws, including rebate and tax audit work and responses to governmental initiatives like the Securities and Exchange Commission’s MCDC (Municipal Continuing Disclosure Compliance) initiative. We also assist clients with their review of contractual obligations, covenants and assessment, including restructuring and monitoring of such obligations and covenants.

Legislative Counseling

Our government relations experience is also of great benefit to our municipal clients, whom we help craft legislation and navigate the legislative process.  As one example, David Rogers worked with Jonathan Miller and Brooke Parker of CivicPoint, an affiliate of Frost Brown Todd providing legislative and public affairs services to governmental units and businesses, to draft legislation that now allows property owners to use special assessments to finance energy efficiency projects.  With the introduction of the Energy Project Assessment District (EPAD) Act of 2015, Kentucky citizens joined 40 other states in using property assessed clean energy (PACE) mechanisms to lower the cost of these projects.

Experience Highlights

Ohio County Fairgrounds P3

CHALLENGE: Upgrade the county’s fairground and entertainment facilities cheaper and faster.

SOLUTION: Working with the local port authority and developer, FBT Project Finance Advisors and Frost Brown Todd structured a program where the port authority and county shared powers, allowing the county to use the port’s simpler non-bid procurement powers, each allowing construction of the project without prevailing wages.

RESULTS: Time and money saved and a reduced project budget and revenue requirement in the future.

The Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority

CHALLENGE: Secure tax-exempt funding to modernize parking systems.

SOLUTION: Principals of FBT Project Finance Advisors worked with the Port Authority and City of Toledo examining innovative finance solutions to create a public agency partnership program that secured funding for the projects. The City and Port Authority used tax-exempt debt with a rate of interest that was much lower than taxable debt. The structure included private expert managers, which lowered operating costs, increased efficiency and generated more revenue for the projects.

RESULTS: More than $3 million was saved in interest cost by the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority.

City of Cleveland, County of Cuyahoga, the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority

CHALLENGE: To finance the $270 million Ernst & Young Tower and the $400 million Cleveland Convention Center and Global Center for Health Innovation.

SOLUTION: Principals of FBT Project Finance Advisors assisted the City of Cleveland, County of Cuyahoga, and the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority, as well as underwriting firms Robert W. Baird Incorporated and Stifel Nicolaus & Company, in finding creative ways to generate funds for these projects. The FBT team, working closely with the agencies and investors, facilitated a P3 structure for the Convention/Global Health Center project where Merchandise Mart Properties entered into a DBFOM lease for the Center; and used tax-exempt and taxable bonds as part of a unique financing package for the Ernest & Young Tower that included 35 separate bond, grant, tax-credit, EB-5 and other funding sources.

RESULTS: More than $30 million saved in financing costs for each project.

Ohio Market Access Program

CHALLENGE: Identify ways for municipal utilities to better finance/refinance short-term debt.

SOLUTION: Principals of FBT Project Finance Advisors worked with the Ohio Treasurer of State to create the Market Access Program (OMAP), which adds the State’s ‘SP-1+’ credit rating to short-term (one year) notes issued by local governments, thereby increasing market access and lowering borrowing costs. In addition we discovered a solution that allows American Municipal Power members to qualify for OMAP to finance/refinance their short-term debt and significantly lower borrowing costs.

RESULTS: Each credit-enhanced note issued saves issuers thousands of dollars in interest cost per $1 million of debt.

Ohio School Districts

CHALLENGE: Create a structure to lower borrowing costs.

SOLUTION: Working closely with Bradley Payne LLC and PRISM Municipal Advisors, principals of FBT Project Finance Advisors created and documented an innovative forward starting interest rate swap “swaption” refinancing program for Ohio school districts. The program lowered borrowing costs on several hundred millions of dollars of debt and brought in millions of dollars in payments from the bank counterparties. The new money financed permanent school improvements that were previously unfunded. The FBT team made certain that the security and payment obligations of each bank counterparty were fully collateralized by U.S. Treasury bonds; and the borrowing costs of the districts were at the lowest competitive rates available.

RESULTS: More than $10 million new money to certain Ohio school districts.

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