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The deal reflects a major shift in housing association borrowing over the last 18 months with more than 50 per cent of long-term finance now raised on the capital markets – this had been dominated by bank lending.
Natalie Singh, partner and head of funding at ACS, who led the firm’s capital markets team, said: “I am delighted that we have completed our first ever listed bond, reflecting the growing appetite of the housing association sector to go to the capital markets to fund their longer term growth plans.
“This additional funding will have a major positive impact on the further regeneration of Walsall and the wider Midlands. It has been a challenging transaction to achieve in the timescales set.”
The new bond has also been partly used to refinance whg’s legacy bank debt from a syndicate of lenders. The spread over gilt achieved was 1.25 per cent.
The deal marks the successful completion of 18 months’ work, which has seen whg secure a strong A2 (stable) rating from Moody’s credit rating agency.
The joint book runners were Lloyds Bank and Santander. whg has retained £75m of the total amount for drawdowns in the near future.
Martin Robertson, Finance Director at whg, added: “We were very impressed with the professional, thorough approach of the ACS team. As clients we only glimpsed some of what went on as numerous documents were finalised and consents obtained. At all times, the team was calm, effective, concise and courteous - even when under great pressure.”
This transaction follows three other capital markets deals by ACS in recent months.
In September, ACS advised on the completion of a £35m private placement on behalf of Cheshire based Wulvern Housing, as part of its overall £216m refinancing.
Part of this included setting in place a new £60m facility agreement with Warrington Borough Council acting as an additional lender and restructuring its existing bank debt with RBS and Newcastle BS. The additional funding will be used by Wulvern to deliver over 1,000 new affordable homes across Cheshire.
Sasha Deepwell, Deputy Chief Executive of Wulvern Housing Association, said: “I appreciated the excellent support from ACS throughout what was a complex and unique deal which has provided Wulvern with long-term secure funding to meet much needed new homes across Cheshire.”
In June, ACS advised on the completion of a £40m direct investment over 20 years by L&G into Rooftop Housing Group. It allows Rooftop to fund 900 new homes across South Worcestershire and Gloucestershire and is based on staggered drawdowns from L&G through to August 2015. The transaction included Rooftop restructuring its existing bank debt with Lloyds and Nationwide.
Caroline Dykes, Finance Director of Rooftop Housing Group, said: “It was a real pleasure working with ACS to arrange new funding for Rooftop through L&G. Natalie Singh was very approachable and professional. She guided us through each step of the process which was something that was important to us as we had not been directly involved in arranging new funding before. Her instructions were very clear, we received regular updates on progress and on what to expect next. We achieved completion by the deadline agreed at the start of the process which was very challenging due to the short timeframe involved.”
Also in June, ACS advised on the completion of a £25m private placement with Shropshire Housing Group provided by Canada Life.
We are delighted to announce that our private wealth law department has continued to maintain its Band 2 position in the latest edition of Chambers and Partners High Net Worth.
The new CHF is set to launch and open for applications with £4 million set to be allocated to community-led housing groups to support an increase the supply of affordable housing in England.
Charities, like other organisations, may be subject to or choose to voluntarily comply with the reporting requirements under the Modern Slavery Act 2015.
The draft regulations making it mandatory for anyone entering a registered care home in England to have been double vaccinated unless they are clinically exempt were made on 22 July 2021.
In the Transforming Public Procurement Green Paper, the Government signalled its desire to increase its control over procurements by all contracting authorities.
The monthly round-up from the Anthony Collins Solicitors charities team.
Legal updates as the UK enters into stage 4 of the roadmap and legal restrictions on face coverings and social distancing are lifted.
The first disability we are going to discuss is diabetes. We begin by discussing the different types of diabetes; their similarities and differences and how we live with the disability within our day.
Tim Coolican and Freya Cassia explore the legal and practical options available to providers if a disappointing result is received following an inspection.
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