What Does Bond Issuance Mean for BWL?
BWL announced its largest planned growth in nearly 140 years back in July – growing the company and moving toward a cleaner portfolio. How will we actually get there though? Seven projects have been selected to be complete over the next ten years, and four are already underway with scheduled commercial operation dates. One important part of the planning and scheduling process includes going out for bonds.
BWL just finished the bond process to provide the necessary funds for investment in our clean energy program, and at the same time leverage this opportunity to refinance a portion of our current outstanding debt for a lower cost. Bond issuance is a lengthy process that begins with identifying a specific need, transitions to assembling a multifunctional team, and ends with telling our story and purpose to rating agencies and investors. For this particular issuance, the process also entails structuring the bonds in a way that allows us to maximize the investment tax credit we are eligible to receive for our clean energy investments under the Inflation Reduction Act.
Early in the process, our team worked on the preliminary official statement. This document is well in excess of 100 pages and tells our story including why the funding is needed, who our customers are, what our financial standing is and what our future plans are.
For this issuance, we worked with a team of industry experts which includes PFM, our financial advisor, who helps with planning, strategy and coordination; Miller Canfield, our bond counsel, who ensures regulatory and tax compliance; Bank of America and Goldman Sachs, our senior underwriters, who help us connect with and sell our bonds to investors; and underwriter’s counsel, Dykema Gossett, who assists in the development of key documents and execution of the process. This is in addition to many folks who supported the process within the BWL, from treasury and legal to strategic planning and operations.
Issuing bonds is our primary means of generating large amounts of funding for major initiatives such as the construction of generating facilities. This process is governed by strict regulatory requirements which calls for significant expertise, diligence and attention to detail.
Receiving the bonds means we have the funding needed to execute our strategy and it also means we’re making a long-term commitment to our bondholders to make payments when due and to keep specific promises throughout the 30-year life of the bonds, including maintaining key financial metrics and providing annual operational and financial updates.
These funds will enable us to move forward with our major clean energy initiatives including moving toward carbon neutrality while serving an expanding customer base. We’re excited for what the future entails for BWL and our clean energy programs! If you want to learn more about our clean energy projects, visit: Clean Energy Projects | lbwl.com.