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Reznick Group Helps Expand Georgia Aquarium Through Tax Credit Expertise

April 14,2011

Leveraging the Federal New Markets Tax Credit Program, New Dolphin Exhibit Expansion Gets Funded


Reznick Group, a top 20 national CPA firm, and Reznick Capital Markets, a wholly owned subsidiary of Reznick Group, have recently completed funding and consulting services to help find and close $40 Million in New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC) Allocation to help fund the Georgia Aquarium’s new dolphin exhibit.

The work included two separate closings. The $40 million allocation came in two phases with the first $25 million closing in December 2010 and the remaining $15 million closing in January 2011.

“Working through the complexities of the NMTC program to benefit such a major and prominent destination in Atlanta, the Southeast and, frankly, the U.S., is exciting,” said Tim Kemper, south region managing partner at Reznick Group. “Our team provided a significant depth of knowledge and resources to help make this happen. ”

Along with Reznick Group and Reznick Group Capital Markets, Wells Fargo & Co., SunTrust Banks Inc. and the Atlanta Development Authority worked to complete the partial recapitalization of the $120 million, 84,000-square-foot dolphin exhibit. The equity proceeds raised from the closing will be instrumental in the continued success of the Georgia Aquarium, helping the attraction execute its master plan of adding new and exciting exhibits

“Without question, this allocation allows us to be proactive in ensuring the Georgia Aquarium offers exhibits and attractions in line with our long-term strategy,” said Matt Hodgdon, the aquarium’s chief financial officer.  Involving expertise from a number of disciplines, members of Reznick Group’s consulting team included Tim Kemper, Katy Breazeale, Brett Weal and Rob Haley, all based on Reznick Group’s Atlanta office.Reznick Group will continue to work with the Georgia Aquarium in raising an additional $20-40 Million in NMTC allocation.

Reznick Group has been active in the NMTC program since its inception in December 2000. Throughout the development phase of the program, Reznick Group works closely with key participants, including the U.S. Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) Fund, the IRS, the NMTC Coalition, community development entities (CDEs) and others.

About the New Markets Tax Credit Program
The New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) Program aims at revitalizing low-income and otherwise distressed communities by encouraging private investment and economic growth. These communities – both urban and rural – are frequently underserviced or overlooked by conventional investors and thus do not have access to the capital required to support business and economic development.

About Reznick Group
Reznick Group is a top 20 national CPA firm providing accounting, tax and business advisory services to clients nationwide. The firm’s industry experience includes affordable housing, financial services, renewable energy, healthcare, non-profits, professional services, real estate and technology. For more information, visit www.reznickgroup.com