A Mississippi nonprofit sold more than $82 million in bonds to finance improvements to a campus of The University of Mississippi Medical Center.
The bonds received an Aa2 rating from Moody’s Investors Service and an AA rating from Fitch Ratings. The bonds mature between 2036 and 2053, with yields ranging from 3% to 4.31%.
The rating is supported by the “multi-campus university system, management’s track-record of adjusting spending to revenue fluctuations, some capacity for tuition increases at the largest campuses, and a record of generating consistent solid debt service coverage with conservative debt management,” according to Fitch.
Bonds that finance medical center improvements could contribute to bettering public health outcomes in Mississippi, which lags behind nationwide averages on public health. In 2022, Mississippi was the least healthy U.S. state based on 37 metrics compiled by America’s Health Rankings, an annual assessment of the country’s health.
The bonds, issued by the Medical Center Education Building Corporation, will finance upgrades to the university’s Colony Park campus, located in an upscale neighborhood of the state’s capital, Jackson. These include the construction of a new 131,000 square foot facility that will house a medical office building, ambulatory surgery center, and a diagnostic and imaging center, among other infrastructure.
The bonds will be backed by revenue from the campus, much of which comes from patient care.
Raymond James served as lead underwriter on the issuance, purchasing the bonds for close to par.