“It has been a pleasure working with the HJ Sims team on multiple deals including Southwest Charter Foundation, Inc. 2023. The Charter Schools USA team has worked on numerous bond transactions over the years and we are very pleased with the HJ Sims experience. They bring extensive charter school knowledge, a willingness to work as a collaborative partner and the ability to close transactions with their market expertise. We look forward to continuing to expand our mission working alongside our HJ Sims team.”
– Hillary Daigle, SVP of Accounting and Finance, CSUSA
Southwest Charter Foundation, Inc. (SWCF) is a Florida not-for-profit corporation originally incorporated as The Lee Charter Foundation, Inc. in 2001. SWCF governed nine schools for the 2022-23 school year.
Charter Schools USA (CSUSA) contracts with municipalities and public charter school boards to plan, develop, operate and meet educational and financial performance goals as outlined in School District-Approved charter contracts. As of the 2023-24 school year, CSUSA manages 90 schools serving approximately 80,000 students in five states.
As of the 2023-24 school year, CSUSA manages 90 schools serving approximately 80,000 students in five states.
SWCF sought to finance and refinance the acquisition and improvements of facilities at the Upper School site and Lower School site of Lakewood Charter Preparatory Academy. Total bond proceeds of $55,340,000 were used for these purposes, including the funding of a debt service reserve fund and costs of issuance.
To reduce interest cost the bonds were structured as draw-down bonds, issued in two separate draws. The bonds were structured with a 7-year maturity and a 3-year optional redemption at 103%.
HJ Sims worked with the Borrower’s financial advisor to execute the financing with an investor that provided certainty and offered SWCF the flexible terms desired, most notably the draw-down structure. SWCF received attractive terms that provided needed flexibility in the short term.
Effective execution of this financing allowed the Borrower to acquire its newly constructed Lower School/Upper School facilities, allowing the Borrower to advance its long-term growth goals.
On May 4, 2023, the first draw of $23.185 million was completed for the initial phase of the project. On September 28, 2023, HJ Sims closed on the Series 2023 Bonds with the issuance of the second draw. SWCF successfully financed and refinanced the acquisition and improvements to the charter school facilities on the Upper and Lower school sites of Lakewood Charter Preparatory Academy.
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