Platform Housing, the largest housing association in the Midlands, has successfully placed its debut debt capital markets transaction, a £350 million bond issue with a 2055 maturity and a fixed coupon of 1.625%.
The bond received outstanding support from a broad range of institutional investors with demand well in excess of £1 billion from 60 investors, providing a very strong endorsement for Platform Housing’s strategy, a key part of which is to expand the availability of new affordable homes across the Midlands. Raising these funds will enable Platform Housing to continue with these plans with even greater confidence.
Elizabeth Froude, Group Chief Executive - “This has been a phenomenal piece of work delivered during a difficult time nationally and a great credit to all involved. I would like to thank the large number of investors, many of whom took the time to really understand our business, the regional strength and our strong commitment to social and affordable tenures. Our residents now and in the future will benefit for a long time, from the direct contribution this will make to the homes they will live in”.
The issue further enhances Platform Housing’s financial strength, including extending its debt maturity profile and diversifying its sources of financing.
Rosemary Farrar, Platform Housing’s Chief Finance Officer, said “The fast and flexible access to finance that the bond supplies will diversify and strengthen our loan book and support our ambitious growth plans as we accelerate our work to invest in existing homes, build much-needed new ones and invest in our customer services and communities.
We achieved one of the best all in prices and margins in the sector and this was for our debut issuance which is a true reflection of Platform’s ambition and potential. We had a fantastic response from investors being oversubscribed by nearly four times what we needed and retained a further £50m which will be available at short notice for further investment as and when we need it.
The Platform team is grateful to our three joint bookrunners Barclays Bank, Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets and NatWest Markets and also for the support on the transaction by Devonshires (legal advice) and Centrus (treasury advice). Bookrunners’ legal advice was provided by Addleshaw Goddard LLP with Savills providing property valuation services.
This fantastic achievement was put together in a very tight timetable and our thanks go to the whole team for all their hard work.”
Platform Housing is the largest housing association in the Midlands and one of the largest in the country, owning over 45,000 homes. Over the last 2 years, it has built more social and affordable homes in England than any other social housing provider and is a strategic partner for Homes England.
The 35 year maturity is amongst the longest dated publicly listed debt ever raised by a UK housing association. The 1.625% coupon is the lowest ever achieved in the long-dated sterling bond market for this credit rating category (across all sectors) and recognition of the strong credit and low risk business model of Platform Housing.
John Weguelin, Chairman of the Group Board - “As Chair of the Board I am pleased to see that the value of our core financial strength and socially focussed business model was valued by Investors. As a Board we are committed to protecting this and ensuring that the relationship with Investors is a long and successful one which will deliver many more, much needed homes in the future.
I would also like to thank Elizabeth and her team for the outstanding result they have achieved during this period that will benefit our many customers in the future”