Recent News


January 2017
Rice Advisory is Alabama’s #1 municipal advisory firm again… 3rd year in a row!

For the 3rd consecutive year, Thomson Reuters has recognized Rice Advisory LLC as Alabama’s #1 municipal financial advisor. With over $1.7 billion in completed transactions in 2016, Rice Advisory led all registered municipal financial advisors doing business in Alabama. The firm also moved up rapidly in the Thomson Reuters national rankings, climbing to the 38th spot (in terms of par amount closed) among 645 registered municipal advisory firms in the U.S. (up from 68th in 2015). Since the firm’s formation in 2010, Rice Advisory has completed work on 92 financings totaling over $3.7 billion in par amount.

December 15, 2016
Rice Advisory completes $628,715,000 first-of-its-kind financing to monetize Alabama’s BP settlement.

In December 2016 Alabama became the first state to successfully monetize its future settlement payments from BP resulting from the disastrous 2010 BP/Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Upon creation of the Alabama Economic Settlement Authority by the Alabama Legislature (with input and technical assistance from Rice Advisory) the State set about to monetize annual payments due from BP in fiscal years 2018 through 2033. Proceeds of this issue were used to repay prior borrowings from the Alabama Trust Fund and Alabama Rainy Day Account and to provide funding for the Alabama Medicaid Agency. Additional proceeds will be used for ALDOT highway projects in Mobile and Baldwin Counties. The Authority’s BP Settlement Revenue Bonds, Series 2016-A and Series 2016-B are payable solely from BP settlement funds and the State has no liability whatsoever for repayment of the bonds. By monetizing the stream of settlement payments, Alabama received its funds in up-front cash and completely eliminated any exposure to future BP credit risk. Morgan Stanley led the underwriting syndicate, with Rice Advisory serving the State and the Authority as Financial Advisor.

December 15, 2016
Rice Advisory administers successful $4 million bank placement for Gulf Shores Utilities Board.

In December 2016 Rice Advisory led the successful placement of $4 million in bank debt for various refinancing and capital spending projects of the Utilities Board of the City of Gulf Shores, Alabama. Because of the intermediate term structure (10 years) and other factors Rice Advisory recommended a direct bank placement instead of a bond issue. In recent years, commercial banks have priced high-grade municipal loans very aggressively, in many cases outperforming bonds of the same tenor. In addition, bank placements typically feature much lower fees and expenses. In the case of the Gulf Shores Utilities Board, our firm developed an Invitation for Bids and then made a wide distribution among commercial banks operating in Alabama. A total of 11 bids were received, with the winning bidder coming in at 2.00% and, very importantly, no origination fee. With no underwriter’s discount, rating agency fees or regulatory costs normally associated with a bond issue, and with modest legal and advisory expenses, this bank placement resulted in a significantly lower all-in interest rate than similar bond issues priced under the same market conditions. Rice Advisory served as Financial Advisor to the Board on this transaction.

November 29, 2016
Rice Advisory serves as financial advisor on $236,395,000 financing for Birmingham Interstate improvements.

Rice Advisory served as Financial Advisor on the Alabama Federal Aid Highway Finance Authority’s $236,395,000 Special Obligation Revenue Bonds, Series 2016-A, which closed on November 29, 2016. Proceeds of this issue, rated AAA and Aaa1 by Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s, respectively, are being used to fund construction of major improvements at the junction of I-65 and I-59/20 in downtown Birmingham. Using the credit structure developed with the assistance of Rice Advisory in 2015 for Phase II of the State’s ATRIP highway improvement initiative, the Authority remains the only State of Alabama issuer with a stand-alone AAA rating from Standard & Poor’s. An underwriting syndicate led by Citigroup executed a successful sale in a difficult market to complete this financing within the long-term parameters required by the Alabama Department of Transportation.

October 6, 2016
Rice Advisory completes $105,140,000 State of Alabama refunding, saving more than $11 million for taxpayers.

Rice Advisory served as Financial Advisor on the State of Alabama’s $105,140,000 General Obligation Refunding Bonds, Series 2016-C, which closed on October 6, 2016. The competitive sale, purchased by a syndicate led by Citigroup Global Markets, came in at an all-in total interest cost (TIC) of 2.18% and cut the State’s interest rate on the refunded debt by more than half. In addition to the savings, the State’s future aggregate debt service was restructured to eliminate budgetary variances in the near term, all without extending the maturity of the refunded debt. The State retained its Aa1, AA and AA+ G.O. ratings from Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch, respectively, and with the completion of this sale, the State of Alabama is approaching $100 million in interest savings from a refunding initiative commenced in 2014. Rice Advisory has served as Financial Advisor to the State of Alabama for the duration of this measurably successful program.

July 14, 2016
City of Vestavia Hills, Alabama completes $11.8 million refunding/capital acquisition financing.

In July the City of Vestavia Hills completed an $11,810,000 financing, the proceeds of which were used (a) to refund the City’s 2009-A General Obligation Warrants at significant savings and (b) to provide funds to assist the Vestavia Hills Board of Education in its acquisition and renovation of the old Berry High School facilities. The Aa1 (Moody’s) and AA+ (Fitch) G.O. debt ratings were affirmed in connection with this transaction, which establishes the rapidly growing and well-managed City of Vestavia Hills as one of the elite municipal credits in Alabama and the United States. Rice Advisory served as Financial Advisor to the City of Vestavia Hills on this transaction.

June 30, 2016
New $29,245,000 K-12 public school pool loan financing completed by Rice Advisory for the Alabama Public School and College Authority

On June 30, 2016, the Alabama Public School and College Authority (APSCA) closed on the sale of its $29,245,000 Capital Improvement Pool Bonds, Series 2016. Proceeds of the Pool Bonds will provide low-interest financing (fixed rate of 2.50% for 20 years) of various capital projects for eight public K-12 school systems across the State. Participating public school systems were Alabaster City, Arab City, Franklin County, Limestone County, Opelika City, Ozark City, Roanoke City and Shelby County. Rice Advisory served as Financial Advisor to the APSCA on this transaction.

Rice Advisory is Alabama’s #1 municipal advisory firm again… 2nd year in a row!

Once again, Thomson Reuters has recognized Rice Advisory as Alabama’s #1 municipal financial advisor. With over $767 million in completed transactions and a commanding 41% market share, Rice Advisory led the 18 registered firms in Alabama for the 2nd year in a row. With $717 million in financings already closed so far in 2016 (through April 30) the firm is on track to lead Alabama for a 3rd consecutive year. Since the firm’s formation in 2010, Rice Advisory has completed 66 financings totaling over $2.4 billion in par amount.

April 27, 2016
Rice Advisory leads historic debt restructuring for Troy Regional Medical Center

On April 27, 2016, the Troy Hospital Health Care Authority closed its $12,550,000 Limited Obligation Revenue Bonds, Series 2016. Proceeds of this issue were used to refinance the Authority’s long term indebtedness, 80% of which was due to reprice within 18 months, for a 25-year term at a fixed rate more than 50 basis points lower than the refinanced debt. In addition to permanently eliminating the Medical Center’s interest rate volatility risk, the financing provided extensive relief to the City of Troy, which had previously provided an unconditional, full faith and credit guaranty of the Medical Center’s debt. By converting the unconditional guaranty obligation to an annual appropriation funding agreement, the new structure restored almost $12 million in general obligation borrowing capacity under the City’s constitutional debt limit. Rice Advisory also led the successful rating agency presentation that resulted in Standard & Poor’s awarding the bonds an “A” rating on the Authority’s first-ever entry into the market in the hard-to-finance health care sector.

April 5, 2016
Rice Advisory manages $11,900,000 direct placement for Limestone County Schools; terrific savings result

On April 5, 2016, the Board of Education of Limestone County, Alabama closed its $11,900,000 Refunding Tax Anticipation Warrant, the proceeds of which were used to refund the Board’s Series 2006 Warrants. Because of the relatively short (8 year) term to maturity on the 2006 Warrants, Rice Advisory advocated for a competitive direct bank placement, rather than a bond issue, to maximize savings. The direct placement process turned out to be hugely successful. Commercial banks were invited to bid on the 2016 Warrant and BBVA Compass submitted the winning bid with a fixed rate of 1.59% and no fees. By reducing its rate from 4.05% to 1.59%, the Board will realize $1.45 million in interest savings between now and 2024, with net present value (NPV) savings of $1.25 million, or a hefty savings of 10.64% of the amount of debt refunded.

January 1 – April 30, 2016
Rice Advisory continues to provide guidance and analysis for the Alabama State Department of Education

Effective October 1, 2015, Rice Advisory began an engagement as Financial Advisor to the Alabama State Department of Education. Under this engagement, Rice Advisory reviews, on behalf of the Department, each long-term borrowing proposed by local school systems in Alabama. Under State law, approval of the State Superintendent of Education is required before any local school system can issue bonds or execute certain other debt instruments. Since Rice Advisory’s engagement, this review and approval process has been significantly streamlined, not only for the Department, but also for school boards, underwriters, banks and legal professionals alike, and input from our firm has resulted in savings and efficiencies. Through April 30, 2016 Rice Advisory had evaluated 34 financings totaling over $560 million for K-12 school systems throughout Alabama.

March 17, 2016
Rice Advisory successfully manages innovative $4,780,000 financing for development in downtown Prattville

On March 17, 2016, the Historic Prattville Redevelopment Authority closed its $4,780,000 Redevelopment Bonds, Series 2016. Proceeds of this issue will be used to fund the renovation of the historic Daniel Pratt Mill (shown at left) in downtown Prattville. Rice Advisory served as Financial Advisor to the Authority on this transaction, and also led a very successful rating agency presentation that resulted in Standard & Poor’s bestowing a AA- rating on the bonds. When completed, the structure will be a multi-use facility with residential and commercial tenants. In addition, the renovations funded from proceeds of the bonds will allow the City of Prattville to relocate certain of its emergency management, police, fire, and information technology operations to the historic landmark.

March 8, 2016
Rice Advisory completes two financings for State of Alabama economic development projects and renovations to facilities of the Alabama National Guard

On March 8, 2016, the State of Alabama closed its $98,500,000 General Obligation Bonds, Series 2016-A and its $26,695,000 General Obligation Bonds, Series 2016-B. Proceeds of the 2016-A Bonds were used to fund certain of the State’s commitments with regard to economic development and job creation throughout Alabama. Proceeds of the 2016-B Bonds will be used to fund needed renovations to facilities of the Alabama National Guard. These highly successful financings were sold by competitive bid. Bank of America Merrill Lynch purchased the Series 2016-A Bonds at a true interest cost (TIC) of 2.69% and a final maturity in 2036. Wells Fargo purchased the Series 2016-B Bonds at a true interest cost (TIC) of 0.89% and a final maturity in 2021. The State retained its Aa1, AA and AA+ G.O. ratings from Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch, respectively. Rice Advisory served as Financial Advisor to the State of Alabama on this transaction.

December 1, 2015
Standard & Poor’s upgrades rating on the Birmingham-Jefferson Civic Center Authority for the 2nd time in 2015

On December 1, 2015 the Birmingham-Jefferson Civic Center Authority (BJCC) announced that Standard & Poor’s had upgraded BJCC’s credit rating from “AA-” to “AA” with a “stable outlook.” The rating upgrade, which came after a presentation process managed by financial advisor Rice Advisory, is the second for BJCC in 2015, and is reflective of BJCC’s continued strong operating performance and financial management. Earlier this year BJCC issued $47 million in bonds, with Rice Advisory serving as its financial advisor, to finance a number of renovation and upgrade projects at the complex and also refinanced existing debt, reducing its overall interest cost and generating millions of dollars in future savings. The new rating upgrade reflects BJCC’s most recent operations, which have continued to show strong performance. In their reports this year, rating agencies have cited BJCC’s “healthy debt service coverage” and “favorable ability to withstand economic cycles” among other positive factors. BJCC’s revenues and cash flows have improved very steadily since the recession. In addition, S&P cited the success of the Uptown Entertainment District, now 100% occupied, and the opening of the Westin Birmingham as important factors in the ratings decision. With the opening of the Westin, BJCC now offers over 1,000 on-site hotel rooms, a critical factor when competing for major conventions, sporting events and concerts. Usage and attendance numbers have shown strong improvements over a multi-year time horizon.

November 25, 2015
Rice Advisory completes $12,195,000 new issue for the City of Troy, Alabama Utility Systems

On November 25, 2015, the City of Troy, Alabama closed its $12,195,000 Water, Electric and Sewer Revenue Warrants, Series 2015. Proceeds of this issue are being used for a variety of capital improvements to the City’s three municipally owned utility systems. Each of the improvement projects will enhance the capacity, efficiency and operational strength of the City’s extremely well managed systems. Over the years, Troy’s leadership has wisely cultivated its very profitable utility systems, which allow the City to maintain the lowest tax rates in the region, while its citizens enjoy utility rates among the lowest in Alabama. Rice Advisory served as Financial Advisor to the City of Troy on this transaction, and also led the successful rating agency presentation that resulted in Standard & Poor’s affirming the utility systems’ underlying “A” rating. The warrants were subsequently insured by Build America Mutual and marketed with an “AA” rating from Standard & Poor’s.

October 29, 2015
Rice Advisory client Athens State University completes $8,040,000 refunding issue with direct bank placement

On October 29, 2015, Athens State University closed on $8,040,000 Tuition and Fee Revenue Bonds, Series 2015. Proceeds of the issue were used to refund a portion of the University’s Series 2007 Bonds, resulting in significant future interest savings. Because of its relatively short term to maturity and other considerations, the Series 2015 Bonds were structured as a direct bank placement with Regions Bank, and the University was able to eliminate many of the costs associated with an underwritten bond issue, such as the cost of underwriting discounts, ratings and other items. Rice Advisory served the University as its financial advisor on this successful transaction.

October 1 – December 31, 2015
Rice Advisory begins work under an engagement with the Alabama State Department of Education

Effective October 1, 2015, Rice Advisory commenced its engagement as Financial Advisor to the Alabama State Department of Education. Under this engagement, Rice Advisory is responsible for reviewing, on behalf of the Department, each long-term borrowing proposed by local school systems in Alabama. Under State law, approval of the State Superintendent of Education is required before any local school system can issue bonds or execute certain other debt instruments. Since Rice Advisory’s engagement, this review and approval process has been significantly streamlined, not only for the Department, but also for school boards, underwriters, banks and legal professionals alike, and input from our firm has resulted in savings and efficiencies. Since October 1, Rice Advisory has evaluated financings for the K-12 school systems of Mountain Brook, Leeds, Pelham, Chickasaw, Tuscaloosa County, Wilcox County, Elmore County and Cleburne County.

September 25, 2015
Rice Advisory manages successful $9,205,000 refunding issue for the City of Vestavia Hills, Alabama

On September 25, 2015, the City of Vestavia Hills, Alabama closed its $9,205,000 General Obligation Refunding Warrants, Series 2015. Proceeds of this issue were used to refund the City’s Series 2008 Warrants, a transaction resulting in more than 7% present value savings. Remaining proceeds went into a variety of municipal projects. Rice Advisory served as Financial Advisor to the City of Vestavia Hills on this transaction, and also led a very successful rating agency presentation that resulted in Moody’s and Fitch respectively affirming the City’s Aa1 and AA+ ratings, which places Vestavia Hills among the most highly rated municipalities in the United States. Rice Advisory managed a competitive proposal process for the underwriting. In addition to the strong savings realized, total issuance costs for this issue (expressed as a percentage of par amount) were the lowest in Vestavia Hills history.

July 20, 2015
Rice Advisory completes $16,480,000 new issue for the City of Troy, Alabama

On July 20, 2015, the City of Troy, Alabama closed its $16,480,000 General Obligation Warrants, Series 2015. Proceeds of this issue were used, in part, to refund the City’s Series 2005 Warrants, a transaction resulting in more than 6% present value savings. Remaining proceeds went into a variety of capital projects, including infrastructure needed to facilitate the development of a major retail shopping area and new transportation corridor for Troy residents. Rice Advisory served as Financial Advisor to the City of Troy on this transaction, and also led a very successful rating agency presentation that resulted in Standard & Poor’s upgrading the City from “A” to “A+” in the process. As a percentage of the par amount of warrants issued, total issuance costs for this issue were the lowest in Troy’s history. Also, the all-in interest cost (TIC) on this financing was a record low for a 20-year Troy borrowing.

July and August, 2015
Rice Advisory continues to add new clients

In July and August 2015, Rice Advisory added three important new clients to its growing list. We are happy to report that the firm’s valued clients now include the Jefferson County Board of Education, Alabama’s 2nd largest school system, which operates 56 schools serving about 36,000 students. In July, Rice Advisory entered into a contract with Leeds City Schools to provide financial advisory services. This system operates an elementary, middle and high school in this thriving Birmingham suburb. In August the City of Fairfield entered into a contract with Rice Advisory under which the firm will perform a wide array of advisory services. With a population of approximately 11,000, Fairfield has a long history as a steel-producing industrial suburb key to the Birmingham area economy.

May 5, 2015
Rice Advisory completes three new issues totaling $128,020,000 for the Alabama Public School and College Authority

On May 5, 2015, the Alabama Public School and College Authority (APSCA) closed on the sale of its $33,635,000 Capital Improvement Refunding Bonds, Series 2015-A, $47,610,000 Capital Improvement Pool Refunding Bonds, Series 2015-B and $47,775,000 Capital Improvement Pool Bonds, Series 2015-C. The Series 2015-A and Series 2015-B Bonds refunded APSCA bonds originally issued in 2008 and 2009 and will result in net savings of over $7.3 million to Alabama taxpayers. Proceeds of the Series 2015-C Bonds will provide low-interest financing of capital projects for seven public K-12 school systems across the State. Rice Advisory served as Financial Advisor to the APSCA on this transaction.

February 13, 2015
Rice Advisory client BJCC secures major rating upgrades

On February 13, 2015 Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings each assigned their ratings of AA- (stable outlook) to the Birmingham-Jefferson Civic Center Authority’s upcoming Series 2015 Bonds. Rice Advisory, which serves as BJCC’s financial advisor, was responsible for preparing, administering and leading the ratings presentation process, which included written analysis, live presentations and significant restructuring of legal documents and requirements designed to maximize BJCC’s future borrowing flexibility and reduce its borrowing cost. The new ratings represent significant upgrades from previous ratings, which had suffered by association in connection with widely publicized financial difficulties experienced by Jefferson County. In achieving the upgrades, Rice Advisory was successful in communicating the very strong credit, financial, operational and management characteristics of BJCC and to distinguish its performance and credit profile from that of the surrounding county. The rating upgrades represent a major accomplishment and an objective “letter grade” on the performance, leadership and stewardship of BJCC’s Board of Directors and senior management.

February 12, 2015
Rice Advisory completes historic $533 million highway financing

On February 12, 2015 the Alabama Federal Aid Highway Finance Authority closed a $533,175,000 bond issue, marking the final phase of a major highway finance program. Rice Advisory served the AFAHFA as its financial advisor. The bond proceeds complete the $1 billion in funding for Gov. Robert Bentley’s signature Alabama Transportation Rehabilitation and Improvement Program, or ATRIP. This program will fund much-needed highway, road and bridge projects in all 67 Alabama counties. In order to achieve the lowest possible interest rate on the ATRIP financing, landmark new legislation was passed to change highway finance structure in Alabama and negate market uneasiness related to federal funding. The new highway finance law, combined with Alabama's already conservative budgeting policies and procedures, resulted in the first-ever standalone “AAA” rating (Standard & Poor’s) on a State of Alabama bond issue. The mid-January sale occurred as interest rates reached historic lows, resulting in one of the lowest-cost borrowings of this term structure ever completed in Alabama.

December 23, 2014
Rice Advisory named financial advisor to the City of Troy, Alabama

At its meeting on December 23, 2014 the City Council of the City of Troy, Alabama named Rice Advisory LLC as Troy’s financial advisor. The city, located in southeastern Alabama, is a thriving community that is home to the main campus of Troy University. Troy’s economy is remarkably diverse, with higher education, manufacturing, retail trade and transportation as the major drivers of local employment, and is one of the few cities in Alabama that owns its own electric utility system. Troy is home to facilities of defense contractors Lockheed Martin and Sikorsky Support Services, and the city is also a significant transportation hub, with U.S. 231 providing a major a north-south route connecting all of Alabama to northwestern Florida.

October 15, 2014
Rice Advisory named financial advisor to BJCC

The Board of Directors of the Birmingham-Jefferson Civic Center Authority has named Rice Advisory LLC as its financial advisor. The Authority owns and operates the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex and Uptown Birmingham, an upscale dining and entertainment district adjacent to the BJCC in downtown Birmingham. BJCC's facilities include a 19,000-seat arena, 3,000-seat concert hall, 1,000-seat theater, two adjoining luxury hotels with over 1,000 guest rooms, 320,000 square feet of exhibit and meeting space, the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame and numerous other dining, entertainment and cultural venues. During its 2014 fiscal year, BJCC hosted 1,324 events and more than 1.2 million attendees. The Authority is one of the most successful and highly regarded issuers of debt securities in the Southeast, and Rice Advisory considers this engagement to be a distinct privilege.

September 1, 2014
Chris Williams and Belle Walker join Rice Advisory

Effective September 1, 2014, Belle N. Walker joined Rice Advisory. With over 30 years in municipal finance she has managed the structuring, issuance and closing of approximately $1.9 billion tax-exempt and taxable bonds in 35 states as financial advisor, underwriter, placement agent and remarketing agent, and also managed a variable rate demand bond (VRDB) portfolio totaling over $1 billion. In addition to her experience with bond finance, she also has significant experience with federal programs involving tax credits. In Walker's 15 years as Chief Compliance Officer, no material violations were noted by FINRA, SEC or MSRB. She was the first female management trainee for First Alabama Bank (now Regions Financial) and is a member of the National Association of Compliance Professionals and National Association of Professional Women. Walker attended St. Mary's College in Raleigh, NC and graduated from Troy University (BS in Finance, with honors). She currently holds FINRA Series 7, 24, 53, 28, 79, and 99 registrations.

Chris Williams also joined Rice Advisory on September 1, 2014. With more than 20 years of experience in public finance and related banking practices, Williams has served hundreds of clients as primary transactional banker. He is a skilled financial analyst with deep knowledge of finance industry rules, regulations and best practices. Williams is experienced in numerous public finance transactions such as state and municipal general obligation, revenue and lease-backed transactions involving various projects such as municipal infrastructure, utility systems, solid waste/environmental, higher education, health care, housing and industrial finance. Williams holds a Bachelor of Science in Commerce and Business Administration (cum laude) and a Master of Arts in Finance, both from the University of Alabama. His professional FINRA licenses include the Series 7, 24, 53 and 63.

August 6, 2014
Rice Advisory completes $187,085,000 G.O. Refunding

On August 6, 2014, the State of Alabama closed its $187,085,000 General Obligation Refunding Bonds, Series 2014-A. Proceeds of this issue were used to refund a portion of the State's previously issued Series 2006 and 2007-A General Obligation Bonds. This highly successful refinancing resulted in total savings of over $20 million for the State, with the present value of the savings exceeding 9% of the par amount of the refunded 2006 and 2007-A Bonds. Wells Fargo Bank purchased the Series 2014-A Bonds via competitive bid at a true interest cost (TIC) of 2.13% and a final maturity in 2026. A total of seven syndicate bids were received by the State, which retained its Aa1, AA and AA+ G.O. ratings from Moody's, Standard & Poor's and Fitch, respectively. This issue culminates a three-issue refunding program that will result in almost $72 million in net interest savings, with no extension of maturity, for Alabama taxpayers. Rice Advisory served as Financial Advisor to the State of Alabama on this transaction.

July 10, 2014
Rice Advisory completes $546,850,000 refinancing for State of Alabama

On July 10, 2014, the Alabama Public School and College Authority (APSCA) closed its $546,850,000 Capital Improvement Refunding Bonds, Series 2014-B. Proceeds of this issue were used to refund a portion of APSCA's Series 2007 Bonds. The new issue reduced the net interest cost of the 2007 debt from 4.91% to 2.48%, without extending the maturity of the refunded debt, in a refinancing that will save taxpayers over $35 million in interest costs. Rice Advisory served as Financial Advisor to the APSCA on this transaction, the second-largest bond financing ever completed by the State of Alabama.

June 18, 2014
Rice Advisory completes $25,000,000 financing for ALDOT

On June 18, 2014, the Alabama Highway Finance Corporation (AHFC), a financing authority of the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT), closed its $25,000,000 Limited Obligation Highway Revenue Bond (Direct Loan), Series 2014. Proceeds of this issue will be used to fund the State's Rural Assistance Match Program (RAMP) that will provide the matching funds so that 21 rural Alabama counties can participate in major highway projects slated for the Alabama Transportation Rehabilitation and Improvement Program (ATRIP). The new issue was directly placed with PNC Bank via a competitive bid process at a net interest cost of 1.70%. Rice Advisory served as Financial Advisor to AHFC on this transaction.

May 28, 2014
Rice Advisory completes $80,065,000 financing for State of Alabama

On May 28, 2014, the Alabama Public School and College Authority (APSCA) closed its $80,065,000 Capital Improvement Pool Refunding Bonds, Series 2014-A. Proceeds of this issue were used to refund APSCA's Series 2007 Bonds. The new issue reduced the net interest cost of the 2007 debt from 4.37% to 2.27%, without extending the maturity of the refunded debt, in a refinancing that will save taxpayers approximately $16 million in interest costs. Rice Advisory served as Financial Advisor to the APSCA on this transaction.

May 2014
Grand Opening of Runaway Island Beach Bar & Grill

Rice Advisory was privileged to serve as Financial Advisor to RI Beach LLC, the owner and developer of Runaway Island Beach Bar & Grill. Rice Advisory arranged debt financing for land acquisition in late 2012, and secured $3.5 million in construction/permanent financing for this beachfront project, which is located on Front Beach Road in Panama City Beach, Florida. Runaway Island is a joint venture of longtime Panama City Beach restaurateur Neel Bennett and AlaTex LLC, a Cullman, Alabama-based diversified investment company. Rice Advisory was successful in securing low interest, long term, fixed rate debt for this project in a hard-to-finance sector.

November 2013
Rice Advisory Named Financial Advisor to the State of Alabama

Pursuant to a long-term contract with the Alabama Department of Finance approved by the Legislative Contract Review Committee and Governor Robert Bentley, Rice Advisory was named Financial Advisor to the to the State of Alabama. In connection with this engagement, Rice Advisory manages the State's general obligation debt financing program in addition to the financings of the State's largest issuers of tax-exempt bonds, including the Alabama Department of Education, the Alabama Department of Transportation and numerous other agencies, boards and authorities of state government.

October 1, 2013
EcoSouth Services opens industrial landfill in Mobile County

Rice Advisory client EcoSouth Services LLC opened its landfill in Axis, Alabama, just north of the City of Mobile. The disposal site, acquired from Mobile County in November 2012, is located in the highly industrialized U.S. 43 corridor and accepts waste material from a wide array of customers in the area. Leading up to the opening, Rice Advisory secured approximately $4.2 million in debt and equity financing for the acquisition, development and equipping of this site, which includes synthetically lined industrial waste disposal areas in addition to areas for the disposal of construction and demolition debris.

September 2013
Rice Advisory Named Financial Advisor for City of Montgomery

Rice Advisory was named financial advisor to the City of Montgomery, Alabama and the Montgomery Riverfront Development Foundation in connection with the proposed redevelopment of municipally owned property in historic downtown Montgomery. In connection with this engagement, Rice Advisory coordinated an extensive working group on a project that included a number of non-profit community groups, New Markets Tax Credits, bank debt and a capital campaign.