Cleveland Clinic To Issue Rare Century Bonds

The Cleveland Clinic's front entrance sign on Chester Avenue in Cleveland. Photo by Sarah Jane Tribble.
The Cleveland Clinic's front entrance sign on Chester Avenue in Cleveland. Photo by Sarah Jane Tribble.

Century bonds are exactly what the name sounds like: The organizations that issue them promise to pay back the debt in 100 years.

Moody's Investors Services says it is so difficult to convince to investors buy the bonds that generally only governments, universities, and some very well established companies have been able to issue the over the past few decades. Other issuers include MIT, Ohio State University, Walt Disney Co. and Ford Co.

Now, the Cleveland Clinic becomes the first non-profit health care system in the U.S. to offer Century bonds. Clinic Chief Financial Officer Steve Glass says there is a limited group of investors able to buy these bonds.

"So when you go to market you really need to have the name recognition and you really need to have the stability and long-term view," Glass says.

In other words, investors who buy these bonds want to be sure the organization they are buying from will be around to pay it back in 100 years.

The Clinic will celebrate its first centennial in seven years. And Glass says the plan is to be around for another hundred years.

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