Jewish Home Family

Jewish Home Family is a private not-for-profit corporation operating an integrated healthcare delivery system principally serving the residents of Bergen County, New Jersey. Jewish Home at Rockleigh has been operating the 180-bed Russ Berrie Home for Jewish Living since 2001 on a park-like 16 acre campus in the Rockleigh Township of Bergen County, New Jersey.

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Asbury Communities

Asbury Communities Partners with HJ Sims again to Streamline its Capital Structure with its Pennsylvania and Maryland Obligated Groups

“Asbury Communities once again chose HJ Sims to represent us for a refinancing in Pennsylvania and Maryland for our callable debt. The Sims team was able offer solutions for both refinancings that exceeded our expectations. One of the refinancings was a public deal that came to the market at a difficult time. Sims presented a strategy that worked better than anticipated, and we were able to refinance our debt on superior terms. I would highly recommend working with Sims as they listened to our objectives, formulated a great plan, and executed on it. We couldn’t be happier with the results.”
– Andrew Jeanneret, Chief Financial Officer, Asbury Communities, Inc.

For more information on how Asbury’s Maryland and Pennsylvania Obligated Groups, please contact:

(301) 424-9135

Melissa Messina

(203) 418-9015

Patrick Mallen

(203) 418-9009

Asbury Bethany Village – Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania
Asbury Methodist Village – Gaithersburg, Maryland

Partnered Right®

Asbury Communities, Inc. (“Asbury”), owns and operates life plan communities in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Tennessee, as well as HUD Section 202 senior housing buildings, a foundation, and a for-profit technology consulting firm. All of the facilities that are included in its Pennsylvania and Maryland Obligated Groups are owned and operated by Asbury Atlantic, Inc. (“Atlantic”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Asbury Communities.

Pennsylvania Obligated Group

Asbury’s Pennsylvania Obligated Group (the “Pennsylvania Obligated Group”) consists of two communities – Bethany Village Retirement Center (“Bethany Village”) located in Mechanicsburg, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania and Springhill (“Springhill”) located in Erie, Pennsylvania, both life plan communities (LPCs). Bethany Village consists of two campuses with an aggregate of 400 independent living units, 100 assisted living units and a 69-bed skilled nursing center and related amenities. Springhill has 158 independent living units, 35 personal care units and an 80-bed skilled nursing facility.

Maryland Obligated Group

Asbury’s Maryland Obligated Group (the “Maryland Obligated Group”) consists of two communities – Asbury Methodist Village (“AMV”), a LPC located in Gaithersburg, Montgomery County, Maryland, and Asbury Solomons Island (“Solomons”), a LPC located in Solomons, Calvert County, Maryland. AMV provides a continuum of living through 826 independent living apartments, courtyard homes and villas, 133 assisted living suites and 257 comprehensive care beds located in a health care unit that includes a post-acute care unit and a memory support special care unit. Solomons has 300 independent living apartments and cottages, 24 assisted living suites and a health care center containing 48 licensed skilled and intermediate nursing care beds.

Sims recently served as underwriter to Asbury in 2018 for its Maryland Obligated Group’s Series 2018 Bonds; a financing that provided $7.5 million of new money bonds for capital expenditures, while also achieving over $8.3 million in net present value savings for the Maryland Obligated Group.

Structured Right®

Pennsylvania Obligated Group

In the summer of 2019, HJ Sims was engaged again by Asbury Communities to facilitate the refinancing of the Pennsylvania Obligated Group’s outstanding Series 2010 Bonds and the Maryland Obligated Group’s outstanding Series 2009B Bonds. Asbury Communities also sought Sims’ partnership in modifying the support agreement between Asbury Communities and the Pennsylvania Obligated Group and restating their existing Master Trust Indenture to align it with the modernized terms from the Maryland Obligated Group’s Series 2018 Refunding Bonds. Sims served as Underwriter of the Series 2018 Bonds, and worked closely again with management of Asbury to facilitate their objectives of minimizing overall interest expense while attaining level debt service and maximum flexibility

Maryland Obligated Group

For the Maryland Obligated Group, Sims facilitated a request for proposals process to select a bank partner and negotiated a tax-exempt bank loan used to refinance the Series 2009B Bonds, and finance $5,000,000 in capital expenditures reimbursements made by Maryland Obligated Group in the ordinary course of business.

Executed Right®

Pennsylvania Obligated Group

In order to meet the strategic financing objectives of Asbury, Sims suggested a short-term forward commitment to reduce or eliminate the effects of negative arbitrage from a current refunding occurring within 90 days of an optional redemption date. Sims priced the Pennsylvania Obligated Group’s Series 2019 Bonds on November 7, 2019, and set closing on December 31, 2019 to eliminate negative arbitrage through the first optional redemption date of the Series 2009B bonds on January 1, 2020. By doing so, the Pennsylvania Obligated Group avoided nearly $600,000 of negative arbitrage between the pricing date and closing date, reduced the overall borrowing, and maximized savings. The structure for the Pennsylvania Obligated Group also included semi-annual sinking fund installments, call provisions that took into account the impact of the elimination of advanced refunding bonds, and restated the underlying master trust indenture documentation and support agreements.

Maryland Obligated Group

As part of the Maryland Obligated Group’s bank financing negotiations, Sims was able to procure a 4 year, fully amortizing loan matching the maturity of the Series 2009B Bonds at a swap rate of 2.226% and a 7 year, fully amortizing loan for the reimbursement of capital expenditures at a swap rate of 2.309%. This financing also effectively defeased the final series of bonds that had been issued under the Maryland Obligated Group’s original operating support agreement, opening the door for the complete elimination of the operating support agreement if the Maryland Obligated Group wanted to do so.

Financed Right®

Pennsylvania Obligated Group

For the Pennsylvania Obligated Group, the aggregate $59,480,000 Series 2019 Bonds are projected to generate nearly $850,000 of debt service savings annually through 2041 and over $1.2 million annually from 2042 to 2045 for an aggregate net present value savings of $15 million over the life of the bonds.

Maryland Obligated Group

For the Maryland Obligated Group, notwithstanding the $5 million additional funds borrowed, the financing resulted in a mere approximate $20,000 increase in maximum annual debt service and achieved Maryland Obligated Group’s goals. The implemented financing structure allows Asbury to achieve its objectives of minimizing overall interest expense while sustaining and improving debt service coverage metrics and providing maximum flexibility.

For more information on how Asbury’s Maryland and Pennsylvania Obligated Groups were Financed Right® by HJ Sims, please contact:

(301) 424-9135

Melissa Messina

(203) 418-9015

Patrick Mallen

(203) 418-9009

Testimonials may not be representative of the experience of other clients. Past performance is no guarantee of future results

Market Commentary: On the Verge

At a meeting of the G-20 nations in Brisbane, Australia in November of 2014, Jim Yong Kim, President of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (World Bank), proposed a new way to help developing countries finance efforts against infectious diseases in the early stages of a global contagion. Three years later, as Ebola continued to ravage West Africa in a pandemic that killed more than 11,000 people and set back development there for more than a decade, the Bank looked to transfer some of the effective insurance risk to the financial markets by privately placing $329 million of Floating Rate Catastrophe-Linked Capital at Risk Notes. These were quickly dubbed “pandemic bonds”. Roughly modeled on catastrophe bonds from the mid-1990s that pay out in response to insurance claims for events like hurricanes and earthquakes, the principal would be transferred to the Bank’s Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility (PEF) to aid eligible developing countries with containment and relief efforts after a very specific series of events occurs. The 386-page prospectus outlines the order and magnitude of triggers: when an outbreak reaches a predetermined level of contagion, involves a specific number of deaths, spreads at certain speeds, and crosses international borders producing more than 20 deaths in any additional country. Determinations are made by a verification agent based on publicly available data as reported by the World Health Organization, and the maximum payout in this case is $196 million.

The 2017 Notes were issued in two classes: a $225 million tranche covering flu and coronavirus that was priced at LIBOR plus 6.50%, and a $95 million series covering Ebola and various fevers as well as coronavirus that priced at LIBOR plus 11.10%. Swiss Re Capital Markets, Munich Re, and GC Securities managed the sale, which was oversubscribed by 200%. Interest on the Notes totals about $36 million a year which, along with fees, are paid by donor countries including Japan, Germany, and the soft loan arm of the Bank. No payouts to the PEF have yet been made and due to the number and timing of triggers, it is unclear that any monies would be paid or that they would even arrive in time and sufficient quantity to be helpful. Although there remains considerable doubt about the official numbers, China reached the first threshold for fatalities weeks ago. But due to unsurpassed global efforts at containment, including the effective quarantine of half of China’s population — a staggering number that is twice the size of the United States — no other nation is close to reaching the next trigger point. The 2017 Notes are scheduled to mature on July 15 of this year and principal will be repaid to holders if no recognized event occurs. At this writing, the COVID-19 disease, now officially caused by the virus SARS CoV-2, is not a global pandemic, although officials at the National Institutes of Health believe that the outbreak is on the verge of becoming one. There are now 15 confirmed cases in the U.S and diagnosed infections in 23 other countries. The Notes are said to be trading at a discount now, reflecting market belief that the first payout may well be forthcoming in the next five months.

This year’s G-20 summit will be held in Riyadh in late November and the theme is “Realizing Opportunities of the 21st Century for All.” It is one of a number of international events planned for 2020, including the Summer Olympics in Tokyo, the G-7 at Camp David, the World Expo in Dubai, and the 75th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, any or all of which could be disrupted as a result of the spread of the deadly virus. Traders are alternatively spooked and soothed by the intraday news reports which dominate all headlines. As fourth quarter corporate earnings are released, the term “coronavirus” has been cited in 138 of 364 companies holding calls, and FactSet reports that 25% have referenced some type of impact or modified guidance. The progress of the disease cannot be known, so speculation is rife on the potential economic impact of the coronavirus on tourism, retail sales, production and demand for products ranging from pharmaceuticals to oil to baby carriages and semiconductors. Futures trading now reflects expectations for one or more rate cuts this year, with the first coming in July.

Through the first half of February, stocks fought to keep the rally going in spite of widespread virus concerns. As of the close on Friday, the Dow gained 4% or 1,142 points on the month to close at 29,398. The S&P has risen 154 points to 3,380, the Nasdaq increased by 580 points to 9,731 and the Russell 2000 added 73 points or 4.6%. Oil is up 1% to $52.05, while gold has lost $5.10 an ounce to $1,584. On the fixed income side, U.S. high yield corporates, with more than $50 billion of refinancings so far this year, and preferreds are the only sectors with positive returns on the month. Short Treasury yields have jumped 11 basis points to 1.42%, and 10-year yields have inched up 8 basis points to 1.58%. While 30-year yields have gained 4 basis points so far in February, last week’s government auction fetched a record low yield of 2.06%. The calendar of municipal issues hit a high for the year last week at $9.6 billion and yields this month are up imperceptibly across the curve. The 2-year AAA general obligation bond yield ended mid-month at 0.86%, the 10-year at 1.18% and the 30-year benchmark at 1.82%. Municipal bond funds have taken in $3.7 billion during the last two weeks, sending the inflow streak to a record high of 58 weeks.

HJ Sims was in the market last week with $28.3 million of BB+ rated New Hope Cultural Education Facilities Finance Corporation bonds for Morningside Ministries. The offering met with a strong reception and we sold the 2055 term bonds with a 5% coupon priced to yield 3.35%. Among other deals on the high yield slate, the Public Finance Authority of Wisconsin sold $21.5 million of non-rated senior living facility revenue bonds for Montage Living due in 2024 priced at 8.00% to yield 9.121%. In the education sector, the Arizona Industrial Development Authority issued $42.3 million of BB rated revenue bond for the Cadence campus of Pinecrest Academy of Nevada structured with a 2050 term maturity priced at 4.00% to yield 3.23%; the California School Finance Authority brought a $21.3 million BB+ rated financing for Fenton Charter Public Schools featuring a final maturity in 2040 priced with a coupon of 4.00% to yield 2.07%; and the Public Finance Authority issued $11.3 million of non-rate revenue bonds for 21st Century Public Academy that included 30-year term bonds priced at 5.00% to yield 4.21%. The Berks County Municipal Authority of Pennsylvania had a $19.5 million BB+ rated sale for Alvernia University that had a 30-year term bond priced at 5.00% to yield 3.59%.

This week, we will see more fourth quarter corporate earnings, the minutes from the January Federal Open Market Committee meeting, and economic data on housing, producer prices, and manufacturing. Qualifying Democratic presidential candidates will meet on the debate stage Wednesday night in Las Vegas. The $6.8 billion municipal slate includes a $90.2 million non-rated Pennsylvania Economic Development Financing Authority senior living revenue bond transaction for Quality Senior Housing and QSH/Pennsylvania, LLC, and a $36.2 million BB+ rated Lancaster County Hospital Authority issue for Saint Anne’s Retirement Community. Life plan communities will be the focus of the two-day HJ Sims Late Winter Conference next week in San Diego. We look forward seeing so many of you at our 17th annual event. For those unable to attend this year, we will be sure to share our highlights in the weeks to come.

Market Commentary: A Port in Any Storm

The MS Westerdam is a premium cruise ship of Italian design and Netherlands registry with 10 decks that was christened in 2004 and refurbished in 2017. Operated by the Holland America Line, and owned by Carnival Corp., the ship offers a Lincoln Center stage, a BB King Blues Club, 3 restaurants, 3 pools, shopping and a casino. Right now there are 2,257 souls aboard, including 802 crew members, and they are all in limbo off the southern coast of Vietnam. They departed from Hong Kong on February 1 on a two-week journey with calls planned on Taiwan and Japan but at this writing are now just in search of a port where they can disembark. Although the operator says that it has no reason to believe that there are any cases of coronavirus on board and no passengers are restricted to quarters. Thailand is the just the latest country or territory to turn them away for fear that some passengers are infected. Japan, Taiwan, Guam and the Philippines have previously blocked requests to dock. The plight of the Westerdam epitomizes the fear, dread and uncertainty surrounding the 2019 novel coronavirus. Centers for Disease Control officials say that Americans should not panic as the risk of contracting illness here is low. However, if you are on board the Diamond Princess, another Carnival cruise ship with 3,600 currently under quarantine in the port of Yokohama, Japan, the risk is substantially higher. Officials there say that they do not have the capacity to test everyone, but there are at least 135 confirmed cases, the largest such number outside of China. In Wuhan, a city larger than New York, there is an unprecedented quarantine of nearly 60 million people in effect and the 34 year-old doctor who first tried to raise the alarm about the outbreak just became one of the 1,000 casualties of the disease now officially named Covid-19.

Federal Reserve Chair Jay Powell singled out the coronavirus as one risk threatening a U.S. economic outlook which otherwise appears durable with steady growth and unemployment near a 50-year low. In testimony before the U.S. House Financial Services Committee on Tuesday, he noted that it is too early to say whether the effect of the virus on the U.S. will be persistent and material but that the outbreak could lead to further disruptions in China that spill over. Powell was on Capitol Hill for his semi-annual monetary report to Congress. He reminded Members that the expansion is in its 11th year, the longest such period of uninterrupted growth on record, with job openings plentiful, and employment gains benefiting all ethnic and racial groups and levels of education. With the economy “in a very good place”, he indicated that no further rate cuts are being contemplated unless economic conditions change significantly, and assured Members that the Fed is monitoring developments, prepared to respond accordingly. This was welcome news to markets that have jolted up and down and moved sideways based in part on fourth quarter earnings, easing trade policy uncertainty, and Federal Trade Commission antitrust investigations but mostly in response to coronavirus developments.

The central bank chair’s testimony was given much closer scrutiny than the President’s budget proposal this week. The $4.8 trillion spending plan highlighting spending priorities for FY21 was rolled out on Monday. As happens in every administration, the bulky document quickly became a doorstop as budget and appropriations committees begin their own drafting process. But given that campaigns are in high season as the new fiscal year begins, it is highly unlikely that anything other than a continuation at current levels will be approved by September 30. Five hundred miles north of the nation’s capital, the New Hampshire primary is underway at this writing and candidates will soon be heading to Nevada for the Democratic debate next week and to South Carolina for the primary to be held February 25. Financial markets are not yet focused on the race as they need to see the field pared down, but they remain on alert for a dark horse.

The month has so far favored stocks over bonds, gold and other havens as economic reports were all strong, China announced tariff reductions, the impeachment drama came to an end, and worldwide resources were marshaled to prevent the spread of the new strain of virus. The Dow is up 1,021 points to all-time highs at this writing while oil is down $2 a barrel to $49.57 and gold is off $13 an ounce to $1,576. The 2-year Treasury yield has risen 8 basis points to 1.39%, the 10-year is up 6 basis points to 1.56% and the 30-year has added 4 basis points to yield 2.03%. 10-year Baa corporate bond yields have fallen 5 basis points to 3.36% while AAA municipal general obligation benchmarks are all up 3 basis points despite a record 57th straight week of fund inflows totaling $1.6 billion for the most recent period. The 2 year tax-exempt yield currently stands at 0.87%, the 10-year at 1.18% and the 30-year at 1.83%.

So far this month in the high yield municipal market, the Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority sold $5.8 million of non-rated revenue bonds for a convention center hotel and demolition project that featured bonds with a three year maturity priced at 3.00% to yield 2.00%. Also on the $6.5 billion calendar last week, Burleigh County, North Dakota sold $22.5 million of non-rated revenue bond anticipation notes for Missouri Slope North Campus- SNF, LLC structured with non-rated bonds maturing in 21 months priced at par to yield 3.00%. The Public Finance Authority of Wisconsin came to market with a $21.5 million non-rated revenue bond issue for Woodland Place Senior Living in Spartanburg, South Carolina that had a single maturity in 2024 priced at 8.800% to yield 9.121%. The California School Finance Authority issued $19.3 million of non-rated bonds due in 40 years for the Alta Public Schools Obligated Group that came with a 6.00% coupon priced at par and the City of Minneapolis had an $8.6 million non-rated charter school lease revenue bond issue for Northeast College Prep structured with 2055 term bonds priced at 5.00% to yield 4.48%.

This week HJ Sims is in the market with a $28.6 million retirement facility revenue refunding bond issue for Morningside Ministries at the Meadows and at Menger Springs, Texas. The BB+ rated financing is being issued through the New Hope Cultural Education Facilities Finance Corporation. Among other financings on the $8.3 billion slate is a $25 million bond issues for the San Francisco Port Commission. The Maryland Economic Development Authority is bringing a $42.9 million BBB-minus rated student housing revenue bond issue for Bowie State University. The Arizona Industrial Development Authority has a $41.6 million BB+ rated financing for the Cadence Campus at Pinecrest Academy of Nevada. And Florida’s Capital Trust Agency plans a $34.8 million non-rated senior living revenue bond issue for Antares of Ormond Beach. The 30-day visible supply of munis totals $13.1 billion of which approximately 36% is expected to come as taxable bonds.

Markets are closed on Monday in commemoration of Presidents’ Day, and we are less than two weeks away from the HJ Sims Late Winter Conference. We invite all who have not yet confirmed your attendance to register and join us for our insightful CFO breakfasts and panels on topics ranging from strategies for stressed communities and those serving middle-income seniors to the future of medical cannabis. There will be an informative tour of La Vida Real and an unforgettable evening at the San Diego Zoo. We look forward to having you join us.

Market Commentary: Rosy and Riveting

It happened gradually but steadily and, as with most tectonic and demographic shifts, the movement was only slightly surprising once detected. Nothing was evident if you watched the supermen of the Super Bowl on Sunday. Or if you followed the recent CSPAN coverage of Senate floor proceedings, reported for boot camp at Fort Benning, plowed the back forty, or sat on the board of a Fortune 500 company. But some of the major changes rooted in WWII’s call to duty continue to build. There are still differences in position and pay to be sure, but the fact is that women now comprise the majority of the U.S. workforce, and the majority of the college-educated labor force. The Labor Department’s December payroll data reported that women hold 50.04% of U.S. jobs. Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers show that they comprise about 50.2% of workers with college degrees. The developments are rather ho-hum for college administrators who first saw women receive more than half of all bachelor’s degrees awarded in the 1981-82 academic year and who are now accepting more females than males into law and medical schools. But the numbers give pause to government statisticians, actuaries, insurers and social scientists, office designers, auto dealers, hoteliers, restaurant managers, clothing designers and many others, all hustling to adjust for, and cater to, a changing workforce.

Employment statistics for January will come out on Friday and forecasters are expecting our unemployment stats to stay a half-century low, with the rate for adult women at 3.2% and adult men at 3.1%. The U.S. expansion is in its eleventh rosy year, still growing at more than 2% per annum, borrowing rates are at historic lows, wages are rising. The President, in his third State of the Union Address — before House members who impeached him and Senate members about to acquit him — recapped the numbers and touted his priorities for the coming months. The world listened in for clues on what might come next from the White House during what promises to be a tumultuous election year, starting with the botched caucus results in Iowa on Monday and now moving up north to New Hampshire for the primaries next Tuesday where five women and nineteen men are competing for the Democratic nomination. Investors, weathered by years of savage political banter, are virtually inured to the political headlines and will not start paying attention until after the conventions. The laser-like focus of Wall Street and global financial centers is on the 2019-nCov coronavirus and the unprecedented efforts undertaken by the Chinese government to contain the spread with the largest mass quarantine in history. The direction of stocks and bonds has spun around like a weathervane in trade winds shifting with the latest updates from health officials and economists.

The first month of the new decade was riveting for U.S. bonds. While the S&P 500 fell 0.04% to 3,225 and the Dow was down 0.89% to 28,256, the U.S. Treasury index gained 2.56% and corporate bonds were up 2.38%. Treasury yields plummeted: the 2-year fell 25 basis points to 1.31%, the 10-year dropped 41 basis points to 1.50% and the 30-year sank 39 basis points to 1.99%. The S&P municipal bond index returned 1.63% and the high yield muni index was up 1.98%. Hospital bonds in the ICE BoAML sector index saw 2.18% gains and munis with maturities of 22 years and longer rose 2.32%. And taxable municipals, enjoying renewed attention for the first time since Build America Bond issuance a decade ago, simply outperformed most every sector and asset class with returns of 5.29%. At month end, the 10-year AAA taxable muni yield was 2.16%, down 37 basis points since the year began. The 10- and 30- year AAA tax-exempt general obligation bond yields fell 29 basis points to 1.15% and 1.80%, respectively. Municipal bond funds took in $8.9 billion of new money, setting a new 56-week record for investment. If you can even find a municipal bond to buy in this $3.8 trillion market, where dealer inventory is at 5-year lows, you will generally pay more than you did last month and the month before that. Prices are through the roof and, as Municipal Market Advisors warned, there is an “absence of investor credit discernment.” In this market, investors are encouraged to carefully review credits with their HJ Sims advisors in the context of their individual risk tolerance profiles.

February begins the month with another onslaught of cash from municipal bond redemptions, maturities and coupons. A total of $23.8 billon is expected to come due this month, while the supply of new issues looks to total only $13.1 billion. This week, the municipal slate is expected to add up to $7.5 billion, and is heavy with taxable university and tax-exempt hospital bonds. In the high yield sector, the City of Minneapolis is bringing a $7.9 million non-rated charter school lease revenue bond issue for Northeast College Prep. At HJ Sims, we are preparing for our Late Winter Conference in San Diego with a lineup of enlightening speakers, informative panels, and recreational activities ranging from golf to fishing, catamaran sailing and trolley tours. We invite you to join us at the Intercontinental Hotel from February 25 to 27 in the city known as the birthplace of California.