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Connecticut Selling Bonds to Help Retailer Bass Pro Shops

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April 16 (Bloomberg) -- Connecticut will offer $22 million in municipal bonds to help finance a new store for outdoor retailer Bass Pro Shops in Bridgeport, its most populous city.

The sale of the general-obligation bonds through Connecticut Innovations Inc. is expected the week of May 5, according to Moody’s Investors Service. The state’s financing arm for companies would use the proceeds for a grant toward the construction of the 140,000-square-foot facility, Moody’s said.

Moody’s grades the new securities Aa3, its fourth-highest investment-grade step, saying bond payments are required to be made without further action by the legislature.

Bass Pro sells fishing, hunting and camping gear in 85 shops across the U.S. and Canada that are visited by more than 116 million people a year, according to the Springfield, Missouri-based retailer. The store in Bridgeport would “help revive the local economy,” Governor Dannel Malloy said in a July 2012 release on the development.

In Bridgeport, a community of 146,000 people, about 24 percent live in poverty, compared with 10 percent statewide, Census data show.

Debt from Connecticut issuers are earning 3.15 percent this year, lagging behind the $3.7 trillion muni market’s 4.22 percent return, according to Barclays Plc data.

To contact the reporter on this story: Romy Varghese in Philadelphia at rvarghese8@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Stephen Merelman at smerelman@bloomberg.net Mark Schoifet, Alan Goldstein

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