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Fitch gives ‘A’ rating to Indiana Historical Society

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A strong balance sheet, experienced management, and conservative debt and investment policies earned a $30.5 million bond issue for the Indiana Historical Society an ‘A’ rating from Fitch Ratings.

An ‘A’ is the third-highest out of four possible investment-grade ratings.

The fixed-rate bonds, issued by the Indiana Finance Authority, are expected to price via a negotiated sale the week of Sept. 13, Fitch said in a press release. Proceeds will be used to refinance part of the society’s $40 million in outstanding variable-rate demand bonds.
 

otb Arts The Indiana Historical Society plans to refinance and pay down $40 million in debt. (IBJ Photo/ Perry Reichanadter)

Fitch had a few credit concerns, including the historical society’s “heavy reliance on investment earnings derived from its endowment.”

Unrestricted cash and investments as of Dec. 31 were $105 million, up from $89 million the prior year. Available funds covered fiscal year 2009 operating expenses and debt by strong margins, Fitch noted.

After refinancing, the historical society’s only debt will be the $30.5 million in fixed-rate bonds. IHS will pay off the remaining $10 million from its endowment and reserves.

The Indiana Historical Society, which this year opened new exhibits at its downtown History Center, will have minimal capital needs in the future. The History Center was built adjacent to the Central Canal in 1999 and renovated last year.
 

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