After months of negotiations, Governor Deval Patrick today announced that the Administration has reached agreement with financial institution UBS that will save the Commonwealth an estimated $71 million.
Due to five risky financial transactions – so-called "swaptions" – entered into by the Turnpike Authority in 2001, the Authority was at direct risk this year of having to pay UBS $261 million. Governor Patrick, Senate President Therese Murray and House Speaker Robert DeLeo passed historic transportation reform that improved the Authority's bond rating, negating the need to pay $190 million of that amount in July. While four of the five swaps were cured immediately, a fifth was at risk of being terminated by UBS, potentially costing the Commonwealth $71 million.
Under the terms of the deal negotiated by the Administration and signed with UBS, however, the July rating upgrade of the Turnpike Authority's MHS senior bonds to A- will be sufficient to prevent termination of the fifth swap.
"Today's announcement is another example of the progress we have been able to make as a result of transportation reform,” said incoming Transportation Secretary and MassDot CEO Jeff Mullan. “I want to thank Governor Patrick, my colleagues at the Turnpike Authority, EOT and the Executive Office for Administration and Finance, as well as the legislature for working with us to provide a more stable financial footing for the new Massachusetts DOT."
The rating upgrades were a result of the sweeping transportation reform that called for consolidation of the state’s fragmented transportation assets into a coordinated new entity called the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT). Visit the MassDOT information center.