by Trevor Williams | November 8, 2010
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport has sold a package of bonds valued at $587.8 million that will finance the completion of its new international terminal.
The bond sale, which has been in the works since last fall, will cover the remainder of the costs for the $1.5 billion terminal, which is slated to be completed in the spring of 2012.
About $900 million has been spent so far on the project, Milton Castillo, Hartsfield's chief financial officer, told GlobalAtlanta.
The airport received Atlanta City Council authorization last year to issue up to $800 million in bonds to complete the terminal. It had planned to go to market as early as last November, but markets were tight and investors were jittery about Hartsfield's uncertain relationship with Delta Air Lines Inc., the airport's key tenant.
Delta, which occupies about 70 percent of Hartsfield's gate space, renewed its lease with the airport for seven years last December. Over the course of this year, the airport piled up cash to build investor confidence.
Last Wednesday the airport's first series of bonds were priced on the market, Mr. Castillo said. By the time subsequent bond sales closed Friday, many of the series were oversubscribed.
Investors placed orders worth more than $1 billion when the airport only issued a total of $587.8 million in bonds.
"In some cases, we were way oversubscribed, so that was good to feed the demand," Mr. Castillo said, explaining that high demand allowed the airport to negotiate lower interest rates than expected, averaging a 4.168 percent rate across all series.
Construction on the international terminal had continued "unabated" even as the airport worked to find financing, said spokesman John Kennedy.
The outer shell of the 1.2 million-square-foot building has been complete for a few months.
"If you drive past it now, it's pretty much like it's going to look when it opens," Mr. Kennedy told GlobalAtlanta.
Construction crews will now turn to interior finishing and infrastructure work, he said. For more information, visit www.atlanta-airport.com.