News & Insights

Dykema Assists on The Bond Buyer Midwest Deal of the Year

December 21, 2018

Dykema, a leading national law firm, is proud to announce that the firm’s Public Finance Practice Group served as counsel for the underwriters on the Michigan Finance Authority $288.6 million bond sale that was named The Bond Buyer’s Midwest Deal of the Year for 2018. The transaction was recognized at The Bond Buyer’s 17th Annual Deal of the Year Awards gala in New York.

“The competition this year was stiff, with many very qualified deals under consideration,” said Michael Scarchilli, Editor in Chief of The Bond Buyer. “We chose the finalists for innovation, the ability to pull complex transactions together under challenging conditions, the ability to serve as a model for other financings, and the public purpose for which a deal’s proceeds were used.”

The award-winning transaction was the Michigan Finance Authority’s $288.6 million bond sale on behalf of Wayne County. The deal funded the completion of a much needed new county criminal justice complex, while freeing up the existing construction site in downtown Detroit for commercial development. The Dykema team who worked on the deal includes Ann Fillingham, Jarrod Smith, Jim Kiefer, Gina Torielli, Matthew Shell and Andrew Switalski.

The transaction marked a milestone for the previously distressed government. A pioneering financing structure including a limited tax general obligation pledge of the County and an intercept of state aid payments allowed the County to access public markets for the first time since 2010, paving the way for another high-profile display of Detroit's revival. The Bond Buyer details the transaction at-length in its article “Deal of the Year 2018 — Midwest: Michigan Finance Authority.”

According to The Bond Buyer, for the past 17 years, its editors have selected outstanding municipal bond transactions for special recognition. The 2018 awards, which considered deals that closed between Oct. 1, 2017, and Sept. 30, 2018, drew nominations that represent the full diversity of the communities and public purposes that are served by the municipal finance market.

Dykema is also listed as approved bond counsel in The Bond Buyer’s Municipal Marketplace (its so-called “Red Book”), the principal directory of its kind. The Firm’s Public Finance practice represents a variety of state and local governmental issuers, as well as underwriters, purchasers, obligors, credit enhancers and trustees in all types of public finance bond and note transactions.

The group’s experience encompasses fixed-maturity and commercial-paper issues, issues involving derivative products, taxable and tax-exempt issues, fixed-rate and variable-rate issues, and publicly-sold and privately-negotiated issues. Several of the Firm’s attorneys are members of and active in the National Association of Bond Lawyers, the major professional association of the bond counsel community.