Holley & Pearson-Farrer S…

Holley & Pearson-Farrer LLP was recognized for its role as lead disclosure counsel to the City of Chicago in connection with The Bond Buyer’s 2023 Deal of the Year. Our firm advised in connection with a $740.5 million bond issuance of sales tax securitization bonds by the City of Chicago’s special purpose, bankruptcy-remote entity, the Sales Tax Securitization Corporation.

This ambitious plan of finance included Chicago’s first social-designated bonds, which supported the Chicago Recovery Plan, Chicago’s equity-based investment strategy for a sustainable, equitable economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The $160 million in social bonds financed initiatives related to affordable housing, homelessness support services, environmental justice, community development, and other urban social goals.

Notably, the social bonds were offered to individual investors one day before being marketed to institutional investors, providing an opportunity for Chicago residents to become stakeholders in their neighborhoods. As a result, 8% of the social bonds were sold to Chicago residents and 24% were purchased by Illinois investors. The social designation allowed investors to invest directly in bonds that finance socially beneficial programs. Consequently, 11 ESG-focused investment funds acquired a total of $88 million of the social bonds.

The financing was also unique in including a cross-credit refunding tender. Bond proceeds were used to finance the repurchase by means of a tender offer of outstanding general obligation bonds of the City of Chicago, in addition to a direct refunding. This novel structure allowed the City of Chicago to refund and retire some of its higher-interest-rate debt obligations.

This multilayered transaction was selected by The Bond Buyer as the 2023 Deal of the Year for the Midwest region and subsequently as the 2023 national Deal of the Year. The Bond Buyer’s annual Deal of the Year awards recognize outstanding achievement in municipal finance. Transactions are judged on various factors such as creativity, complexity and rigor, precedence-setting, and public purpose.

Holley & Pearson-Farrer LLP is a boutique law firm nationally recognized for its expertise in public and corporate finance. Our attorneys have served as bond counsel, disclosure counsel, and underwriters’ counsel to sophisticated municipalities, governmental entities, and leading national and regional investment banking firms in a wide variety of governmental and nonprofit industries. The firm is headquartered in Chicago and has offices in Atlanta, New York, and Savannah, Georgia. We invite you to visit holleypearsonfarrer.com to learn more about how our firm helps governments improve their communities.