Guggenheim Offers Muni Debt as Icon Eyes New Office Space

  • Moody’s assigns investment grade credit rating to non-profit
  • Foundation plans to sell $20 million in taxable municial debt

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, which owns the contemporary art museum in New York, is selling $20 million in taxable municipal bonds this month.

Known as the Guggenheim, the distinctive spiral building designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright houses modern works. The foundation, which also owns sites in Europe and a forthcoming center in Abu Dhabi, has a collection of more than 8,000 pieces, according to Moody’s Investors Service.

The credit arbiter ranks the debt A3, four steps above junk. The non-profit organization is a leader in the art world, with revenue from donations and admissions, it said. Still, it has an "uneven operating performance" and its collaborations with companies and countries create "unique risks," Moody’s said in a statement.

The proceeds will finance new office space and retire outstanding debt, said Tina Vaz, a foundation spokeswoman, by e-mail.

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