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Sara Kotthoff


St. Louis
314 552 6065 direct

Sara is a trusted legal advisor to public entities, nonprofit borrowers, investment bankers and bankers in a wide variety of public financing and lending transactions.

She counsels clients on complex financings for governmental facilities, health and educational facilities, senior living facilities and other projects eligible for tax-exempt financing. She collaborates with her client's legal and financial advisory team and works cooperatively with other members of a transaction's financing team to enable the team to structure the transaction in a manner advantageous to all parties.

Drawing on her extensive experience across the various public finance legal roles (including bond counsel, underwriter's counsel, letter of credit counsel, bank counsel and borrower's counsel) and across the many public finance sub-industries (including governmental, education, health care and manufacturing), Sara frequently adapts the structures, strategies and solutions from one sub-industry to find creative solutions to challenges encountered in a transaction in another. These creative solutions can move a transaction forward and benefit Sara's clients as well as their financing partners.

Many health care borrowings utilize a "master indenture" concept, which permits a group of affiliated entities to pool their borrowing strength to reduce their overall borrowing costs. Sara applied a similar concept to revenue bond financings for Southeast Missouri State University. Southeast had previously issued revenue bonds secured only by individual "enterprises" (i.e., student housing, student recreation and its bookstore). Sara assisted Southeast in creating an umbrella approach where all enterprise revenues are pooled to secure revenue bonds for all of the various enterprises. This permitted the university to utilize surplus revenues in one enterprise to provide credit support for another.

Sara also worked with St. Louis County, Missouri to restructure its method of financing capital improvements. In the past, St. Louis County had utilized annual appropriation leasehold revenue bonds to finance various improvements. Instead, Sara worked with the county to begin financing capital improvements with annual appropriation bonds that did not include the leasing component. While this structure might not work for all borrowers, it permits St. Louis County to issue bonds with streamlined documents, reducing the costs of issuance for a financing and decreasing the time needed to complete the transaction.