Law firm Winckworth Sherwood and its dedicated Social Housing Finance team has advised Longhurst Group on its £250m bond issue.
The money raised from the bond issue, which completed in May 2018, will be used to fund the delivery of 700 affordable homes across the Midlands and East of England over the next six years.
The secured bonds were issued through a treasury vehicle, Libra (Longhurst Group) Treasury No 2 Plc, with a coupon rate of 3.25%. The proceeds of the bonds will be on-lent to social housing providers in the Longhurst Group. £150m of the bonds were issued at closing, with £100m being purchased by the issuer as retained bonds. The bonds will be repayable after 25 years and the issuance more than two times oversubscribed.
The Winckworth Sherwood team was led by Partner and Head of Social Housing Finance Louise Leaver with support from Lucy Grimwood, Rosanagh Herries, Deborah Rowntree and Joe DeFalco on the finance side. The charging work was led by Ruby Giblin and Jill O’Reilly
Louise said: “We are delighted to have been able to advise the Longhurst Group in preparing for and successfully completing this bond issue. Winckworth Sherwood has a specialist housing finance team which is an integral part of one of the largest and strongest social housing teams in the country. Our clients benefit from our experience of acting for both lenders and borrowers on a wide range of funding options, including bond issuances and note purchases as well as traditional bank debt.”
Rob Griffiths, Deputy Chief Executive and Chief Financial Officer at Longhurst Group, said: “We’re very pleased with the results from our latest bond issue and the level of interest from investors. We will be using the proceeds from the bond issue to fund our forward development programme where we are looking to deliver around 700 much needed new homes each year for affordable rent, low cost home ownership and market sale.
“This is another significant step in the Group’s history. It makes us stronger financially, will help us realise our ambitious growth plans and continue to improve the lives through the provision of more homes.”
“Alongside the bond issue we also restructured a number of our bank facilities and were expertly advised throughout the process on both the bond and the bank facilities by Louise, Lucy and the team at Winckworth Sherwood.”
This transaction follows on from the merger of the Longhurst Group with Axiom Housing Association, which completed in July 2017 and which Winckworth Sherwood also advised Longhurst Group on.