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Kutak Rock Serves as Bond Counsel in The Bond Buyer’s 2020 P3 Financing Deal of the Year

News | December 17, 2020


The $236.8 million Arizona Industrial Development Authority financing for Nebraska's Lincoln South Beltway project has been named The Bond Buyer’s P3 (public-private partnership) 2020 Deal of the Year.

The first-of-its-kind transportation project utilizes an innovative contractor-led build finance structure and delivered the largest single-contract project in the history of conduit issuer Nebraska Department of Transportation. A Kutak Rock team led by Steve Likes served as bond counsel.

“Because the State of Nebraska is constitutionally prohibited from incurring debt, and because ‘pay-as-you-go financing’ doesn’t work on a three-year construction project that takes the State 10 years to pay, the Nebraska Department of Transportation asked contractors for joint construction-financing proposals, essentially putting the risk on the contractor,” explained Mr. Likes. “Hawkins Construction Company, in consultation with Kutak Rock—particularly Jack McGill on tax issues and Tom Roubidoux on bankruptcy matters—as well as other finance and industry professionals, came up with not just a winning proposal, but one that was a win-win for all parties involved.”

This is the 19th year The Bond Buyer has recognized outstanding achievement in municipal finance, including five awards in regional areas of coverage, along with five in additional categories. All award winners were also finalists for the national Deal of the Year Award, which was announced at a virtual event Dec.16.

"This year's lineup reflects the full range of communities and public purposes this market comprises,” said Mike Scarchilli, Editor in Chief of The Bond Buyer. "The deals honored exemplify the creativity and resourcefulness this industry brings to bear on projects that advance the infrastructure and quality of life in the nation’s municipalities. These qualities take on additional importance here in 2020, as issuers across the nation face unprecedented challenges.”

The Bond Buyer's editorial board considered a range of factors when judging entries, including: creativity, the ability to pull a complex transaction 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.