Press Release


For More Information Contact the NJHCFFA
Communications Department:
609-292-8585 X120
For Release: December 13, 2007

CONTACT: Stephanie Bilovsky
PHONE: 609-292-8585
Date: December 13, 2007




(Trenton) Today, the New Jersey Health Care Facilities Financing Authority (the "Authority") successfully closed a $242,125,000 transaction on behalf of Meridian Health System ("Meridian").


Together with hospital equity, the proceeds of the bonds will be used for a major Meridian expansion project, including the following uses:

  • construct and equip the 213,000 square foot Northwest Pavilion on the Jersey Shore University Medical Center campus, consisting of a new emergency department and trauma center, three new nursing units, an additional 36-bed shell space for future capacity needs, and connection to a new atrium lobby and patient entrance;
  • construct and equip an approximately 109,000 square foot diagnostic and treatment building consisting of six new surgery suites, a new kitchen and dining area, a loading dock, and a new sterile processing department;
  • renovate, expand and upgrade existing clinical and outpatient areas including the outpatient pavilion in the existing ambulatory care center and emergency department;
  • add six pediatric beds and eleven maternity beds to the inpatient areas, thirteen bassinets to the neonatal intensive care unit, two new electrophysiology procedure rooms, and a new cardiac catherization suite;
  • and expand and enhance the radiology, pharmacy and laboratory departments; and,
  • acquire major moveable equipment including a new MRI, CT scanner and diagnostic imaging equipment.


Issued all in one series, the bonds were structured into five tranches of weekly auction rate bonds. This multiple tranche structure gives Meridian more flexibility to respond to the market, not only because the different tranches will reset their rates on different days, but also because the borrower has the option to convert each tranche to various other auction periods. Therefore, if in the future, Meridian wants to make one of the tranches reset its rate every 35 days and another reset every six months, it has the ability to do so. The bonds closed with an initial interest rate of 4.0%.


Insured by Asset Guaranty, the bonds received "AAA" ratings from Fitch Ratings and Moody's Investors Service. The bonds also had an underlying rating of "A-" from Standard and Poor's, which is the rating of the hospital's credit, not including the impact of the insurance on the bonds.


Meridian Health System is a premier health care provider in central New Jersey, providing a broad continuum of care through its four hospitals: Jersey Shore University Medical Center, Ocean Medical Center, Riverview Medical Center, and K. Hovnanian Children's Hospital. Every year more than 250,000 people pass through Meridian's hospital doors accessing leading-edge technology, advanced research and the latest clinical trials close to home.


The Authority, the primary issuer of municipal bonds for New Jersey's health care organizations, was created in 1972 by an act of the Legislature to provide not-for-profit health care providers with access to low-cost capital. During its 30+-year history, the Authority has issued over $12 billion in bonds on behalf of over 140 health care organizations throughout the state.


Please refer any questions regarding the project itself to the hospital. The Authority would be happy to answer any questions you may have about the financing of the project.