The Bond Buyer Announces 2003 'Deal of the Year' Finalists Regional Winners Will Compete for National Title at December 9 Awards Dinner

    NEW YORK, Nov. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- The Bond Buyer, a Thomson Media
 publication, today named five regional winners of its 2003 Deal of the Year
 Awards whose offerings financed airports, housing, highways, pension
 obligations, and power purchases.  The winner of the national title "Deal of
 the Year" will be announced at a black-tie awards dinner in New York City on
 December 9.
     The Bond Buyer's annual Deal of the Year Award honors the municipal bond
 industry deals that represent innovation and distinctiveness and can serve as
 a model for future financings across the country.  The awards are presented to
 one issuer in each of the five geographic regions covered by the newspaper for
 transactions that came to market between October 1, 2002, and September 30,
 2003.  The five regional winners were chosen by The Bond Buyer bureau chiefs
 and editors from the pool of 51 nominations of 40 different transactions.
     "The deals that we have selected to compete for the Deal of the Year award
 recognize accomplishments in virtually all sectors of public finance," said
 Amy B. Resnick, The Bond Buyer's editor-in-chief.  "It is important to add
 that several of this year's winners, and an even greater number of nominees,
 were sold to help governments manage fiscal stress, reflecting the tight
 budget situations faced by municipalities across the nation."
     The regional winners are:
     Northeast:  The New Jersey Turnpike Authority for its $2.4 billion
                 consolidation program.
     Southwest:  Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport for its $1.4 billion
                 joint revenue bond financing.
     Midwest:    Illinois for its $10 billion pension bond issue.
     Southeast:  The Alabama Public Housing Authorities Financing Corp. for its
                 $125 million Series 2003 A & B pooled federal housing grant
     Far West:   The California Department of Water Resources for its $11.26
                 billion power supply revenue bond program.
     The New Jersey Turnpike Authority bonds were sold to consolidate the New
 Jersey Highway Authority, which operated the Garden State Parkway with the New
 Jersey Turnpike and addressed troubles that affected the financing of the
 state's EZ-Pass toll system while also meeting certain capital funding needs.
     The Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport deal was the largest single-
 day airport transaction in the country, completed as DFW's largest carrier,
 American Airlines, contemplated filing for bankruptcy court protection.
     Illinois sold taxable pension obligation bonds that helped the state fund
 its unfunded obligation to employees' retirement, while the size of the
 transaction enabled the debt to become a new option for investors in the
 taxable fixed-income market.
     The Alabama Public Housing Authorities Financing Corp. was created for
 this transaction, which enabled 37 local housing authorities in the state to
 securitize future grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban
 Development. It was similar to the single-entity housing grant securitization
 completed in 2002 by the Chicago Housing Authority, which won The Bond Buyer's
 2002 Deal of the Year Award.
     The California Department of Water Resources sold the largest issue ever
 in the municipal bond market. Apart from the size of the transaction, the
 multi-part structure of fixed- and variable rate debt utilized a significant
 level of municipal derivatives and credit enhancement from bond insurers,
 banks, and a state pension fund. The deal included both tax-exempt and taxable
 securities. It funded the state's purchase of power when electricity producers
 refused to sell directly to the state's three major investor-owned utilities.
     Five other issuers, one from each region of the country, also received
 honorable mention for deals that financed schools, transportation, health
 care, open space preservation, and government operations. They are:
     Northeast:  The Erie County Industrial Development Authority for $183.3
                 million of school facility revenue bonds (City School
                 District of the City of Buffalo Project) in Series 2003.
     Southwest:  The Colorado Educational and Cultural Facilities Authority
                 deals issued on behalf of the Nature Conservancy.
     Midwest:    $1.54 billion in bonds issued on behalf of the Ascension
                 Health Credit Group through four issuers in states and one
                 county authority that utilized multi-state issuance programs
                 of two of the state authorities to consolidate debt for
                 facilities in seven additional states.
     Southeast:  The Orlando-Orange County Expressway Authority for its $1.07
                 billion Series 2003A through D Revenue Bonds.
     Far West:   California for its $10.965 billion in revenue anticipation
                 warrants ($5.392 billion Series A and $5.573 billion
                 Series B).
     About The Bond Buyer & Thomson Media
     The Bond Buyer,, is the only daily newspaper committed
 entirely to the municipal finance marketplace. With reporters based across the
 country, no other publication can compete with its explanations and analyses
 of the market. With it new-issue calendar, in-depth statistical data not
 available in any other publication and concise reporting, The Bond Buyer is in
 a league of its own. The Bond Buyer is published by Thomson Media
 (, a division of The Thomson Corporation, and a leading
 provider of information, data, and software tools for professionals in the
 financial services and related technologies markets.
     The Thomson Corporation
     The Thomson Corporation, with 2002 revenues of $7.8 billion, is a global
 leader in providing integrated information solutions to business and
 professional customers. Thomson provides value-added information, software
 tools and applications to more than 20 million users in the fields of law,
 tax, accounting, financial services, higher education, reference information,
 corporate training and assessment, scientific research and healthcare. The
 Corporation's common shares are listed on the Toronto and New York stock
 exchanges (NYSE:   TOC; TSX: TOC).

SOURCE The Bond Buyer, Thomson Media

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