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Southern Georgia County’s Hospital Authority Issues $131 Mln in Certificates

By Munichain News Desk

The Hospital Authority of Valdosta and Lowndes County sold $131.3 million in revenue anticipation certificates to finance upgrades to one of the biggest hospital systems in southern Georgia.

The certificates mature between 2025 and 2054, yielding between 2.73% and 4.2%. They received a rating of Aa2 from Moody’s Investors Service and AA- from S&P Global Ratings.

“The county’s financial position will continue to be supported by prudent budget management, a stable economic base, and the county’s unlimited legal authority to increase property taxes to fund general operations,” Moody’s analysts wrote.

The certificate proceeds will fund upgrades to the South Georgia Medical Center (SGMC), which includes a flagship 330-bed hospital and four other campuses, for a total of 418 beds.

Lowndes County is in southern Georgia, bordering the Florida panhandle. Valdosta is the county’s biggest city. The certificates are limited obligations of the hospital authority, payable by SGMC revenue. The county has pledged to make debt service payments should the hospital revenue be insufficient. 

The hospital authority has $323 million in debt outstanding post-issuance, according to the official statement accompanying the sale of the bonds. The authority generated $486 million in operating revenue last fiscal year.

Raymond James & Associates, Inc served as underwriter on the issuance, purchasing the certificates for $140.8 million. The price reflected a premium of $10.3 million and a discount of $700,000.

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