On January 19, 2023, New Jersey Economic Development Authority (“NJEDA”) sold its $160 million State Lease Revenue Bonds (Offshore Wind Port Project), 2023 Series A (Federally Taxable) (Green Bonds – Climate Bond Certified) (the “Bonds”) for which Loop Capital Markets served as Bookrunning Senior Manager. The Bonds are issued under the state appropriation credit for the State of New Jersey and represent the NJEDA’s inaugural issuance for the New Jersey Wind Port Project (“NJWP Project”), the first purpose-built offshore wind port in the U.S. Bond proceeds will finance a portion of the preconstruction and construction costs for Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the NJWP Project. The bonds received the highest Green Bond designation by the Climate Bond Initiative with a Second Party Opinion provided by Kestrel and the bonds are also the first Climate Bond under the Marine Renewable Energy Sector Criteria in the U.S.
The Bonds are rated Baa1 and BBB+ by Moody’s and S&P, respectively, with positive outlooks. Loop’s banking team assisted the NJEDA in creating a thorough investor presentation to explain the two phases of development of the NJWP Project, the Green Bond and Climate Bond designation, the lease/lease-back structure of the Bonds between the State and the NJEDA, and the fundamental economic strength of the State. The transaction was well received with significant investor interest as illustrated with over 65 unique investor views of the POS and investor presentation and Loop coordinated four 1 x 1 investor calls and handled multiple investor queries. Overall, the bonds had strong subscription levels. Loop tightened the credit spreads by up to 20 bps from IOIs to Guidance and by an additional 5 bps at the Launch/final pricing.