The Port of Greater Baton Rouge’s grain elevator operator has asked the agency for help in securing up to $200 million in bond financing.
The Port Commission will hold a special board meeting Tuesday to consider Louis Dreyfus Corp.’s request for a letter saying the port intends to issue the bonds within the next three years.
The company plans around $135 million in improvements to the grain facility, Port Executive Director Jay Hardman said, and has asked the port to act as the conduit for the tax-exempt bonds.
Although the port would issue the bonds, Louis Dreyfus would be solely responsible for paying off the debt, Hardman said. The company would guarantee payment with an irrevocable letter of credit from a bank.
The port would not pledge any assets as collateral, and the port’s bonding capacity would not be affected, Hardman said.
Louis Dreyfus has not decided whether it will use bonds to finance the work, which is already underway.
Louis Dreyfus wants to include the money spent the last 60 days in the financing. But the Port Commission must approve a letter of intent and resolution saying those expenditures are part of the bond issue.
The letter of intent is non-binding to the Port, Hardman said. In order to issue the bonds, the commission would have to take additional action at a later date.