Altru clarifies financial security after seeking $115 million in bonds

GRAND FORKS, N.D. (Valley News Live) A major hospital in the northern valley wants to clear the air after they said their financial security was misrepresented in other broadcast reports.

Altru is seeking $115 million dollars in bonds for a building project and to refinance existing debt.

Initial reports suggested the major healthcare hub in the northern valley might be dependent on this investment strategy, but Altru says that's not the case.

"That'd be incorrect. This is a method of financing that makes sense to do. But, if it didn't occur, we would still proceed on with what we're doing. We'd just proceed on a different path," said Dwight Thompson, Altru's Chief Financial Officer.

Altru said they were going to look for additional funds even before a structural failure at the main clinic caused it to shut down.

The closure of the main clinic moved up the time frame for a new building project and added an extra 40 million dollars to the now, 115 million they're seeking.

The remaining 75 million dollars will be used to refinance existing debt. The hospital said that will save them 500 thousand dollars a year.

The bond process isn't new to Altru.

"We issued bonds in 2012, we issued them in 2007, 2005, 1997, 1996, it's pretty standard," Thompson said.

Altru says they've always been able to pay back lenders for their bond investment and believe a high rating with credit agencies will help the hospital meet their financial goals.

"Highly confident. I would say it will probably be over subscribed, there's more demand than bonds will be available," Thompson said.