HJ Sims Successfully Closes on $14.1m Series 2023 Bonds For Orenda Education
“Working with the HJ Sims teams on our Series 2023 bonds was a great experience. This wasn’t our first time going out to the bond market but it was our first time working with HJ Sims. Their expertise in the bond market and professionalism is first class. They were always ready to run financing scenarios as our project shifted and helped us navigate the tedious process with great communication. Their team is very experienced and it really shows that they understand charter schools. We are very grateful for their assistance which allows us the opportunity to add enrollment at our flagship campus, Gateway College Preparatory School located in Georgetown, TX. With a current waitlist of over 1,600 students and a booming area with explosive growth, it was important that we receive the funding needed for phase four construction so that 300 additional seats are available starting in the 2024-2025 school year. Thank you for your help to secure the financing needed to make this happen.”
— Margina Escobar
Chief Financial Officer, Orenda Education
Orenda Education (“Orenda”) is a nonprofit corporation that currently operates one charter school district across five campuses in Georgetown, Goldthwaite, Belton, and Kingsland, TX. Originally founded in 1995, the current charter is valid until July 2025.
Orenda serve students in grades K-12, and has total enrollment of 1,878.
- Orenda intends to build additional facilities at its Gateway College Preparatory School campus, in order to continue serving students and expand to meet demand.
- With an underlying rating of “BBB-” from S&P, Orenda was eligible to apply for and receive the Texas Permanent School Fund (PSF) guarantee, resulting in an enhanced rating of “AAA” from S&P.
The Series 2023A Tax-Exempt and Series 2023B Taxable Education Revenue Bonds provided funds for Orenda to expand its flagship campus with a phase 4 construction project.
- Total bond proceeds of $14,122,685 were used to finance the expansion project, fund payments toward the PSF Charter Reserve Fund, and pay for costs of issuance.
- The bonds were structured with a 35-year final maturity, and with a 9-year call option at par.
- The bonds were structured to meet the client’s goals of 1) maximizing the use of the PSF approved par amounts, 2) a level debt service schedule that kept annual payments below an affordable $800,000, and 3) funding the $13.2 million needed for project costs.
During pricing, the Orenda transaction garnered interest for $750,000 million through HJ Sims’ exclusive, Private Wealth Management distribution network.
- The Sims institutional sales team engaged with more than 35 institutional investors resulting in participation by 6 of those institutions and a 1.9x over-subscription of available bonds.
- The tax-exempt bonds had coupons ranging from 3.50% to 5.00%, accompanied by yields ranging from 3.30% to 4.50%.
- The final 35-year term bond had a 4.25% coupon at a yield of 4.50%.
- The taxable term bond due 2025 had a coupon and yield of 4.75%.
On June 1, 2023, HJ Sims closed on the $14.1 million Series 2023 Bonds with approximately $750,000 of the issue purchased by HJ Sims’ Private Wealth Management clients and the remainder purchased by 6 institutional bond funds.
- Orenda is now underway with construction to expand its flagship campus Gateway College Preparatory School.
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