Arkansas Arts Academy

Arkansas Arts Academy, one of the oldest and largest Arkansas open enrollment public charter schools, required a funding solution in order to significantly expand its campus facilities. While the State approved the school to increase enrollment from 800 to 1250, existing bond covenants from a 2010 bond issue underwritten by another investment banking firm were onerous and not flexible enough to allow for the desired financing.

The Solution

Crews was able to work with Arkansas Arts Academy and provide $25,260,000 in financing to refinance their existing debt and provide new funds for the needed improvements.  Our firm acted as the sole senior manager and underwrote 30-year, fixed rate, tax-exempt bonds as non-rated at a True Interest Cost of 4.39%. The bonds were secured by a lease with the charter school, a mortgage on the facility and a guaranty debt service reserve provided by the Walton Family Foundation. The project further benefited from a subordinate loan from the Walton Family Foundation.

The Difference

Crews worked hard to serve our client in extraordinary ways by:

  1. Advance refunding the prior bonds at attractive interest rate and better terms than the previous financial institution;
  2. Leveraging resources from the Walton Family Foundation to provide a guaranty in lieu of the traditional cash debt service reserve, reducing the amount of borrowing needed by $1.5 million;
  3. Providing a 4.39% interest rate which was considerably lower than other recent and similar charter school transactions.