Hightown Housing Association has announced a new £125m green private placement sourced from six UK and North American investors across 10 to 20-year maturities.
The issue was significantly oversubscribed, the organisation says, with Lloyds Bank acting as sole private placement agent, and Savills Financial Consultants supporting as financial adviser for Hightown.
Hightown is based in Hemel Hempstead, and provides more than 8,700 homes to over 15,000 residents. It claims a strong track record of developing social housing, with no exposure to outright sales activity.
The housing association says this transaction will enable it to continue to deliver new high-quality, affordable housing in its core areas of operation, and will support its stated mission of ‘Building Homes. Supporting People’.
David Bogle, Hightown’s chief executive, said: “We are delighted to have been able to agree this funding from six investors, four of whom were new to Hightown. This £125m adds a welcome degree of flexibility to the funding of our development programme.
“The funds will be used to deliver energy-efficient, affordable homes in our core areas of Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire where there is substantial need and demand.
“We are pleased to have been able to satisfy the investors both on the solidity of our current operations and also on our plans for delivering social impact, active resident involvement and sustainable homes in the future.”
David Skinner, director of financial services at Hightown, added: “We are very pleased to have completed this deal. The timetable for delivery was swift and efficient and the work involved was quite intense. The pricing was competitive and investor interest was strong. We were very happy with the service and support from both the Savills and Lloyds teams and our other advisors during the process.”
Hightown has issued its private placement in line with its green loan framework, which aligns to the Loan Market Association guidelines.
The transaction was also supported by Devonshires LLP, Morrison Foerster and Penningtons Manches Cooper, which supported Hightown on the banking and security workstreams.
George Flynn, director at Savills Financial Consultants, said: “It is really pleasing to see Hightown welcome new investor relationships to the organisation, ensuring a strong platform for future issues. At a time when the sector is facing a multitude of challenges and uncertainties, this financing provides the organisation with valuable stability that will facilitate its continued impressive growth over the coming years.”
Lloyds Bank helped arrange the private placement as sole private placement agent. Rory Brown, the bank’s director of private placements, said: “The building of new and sustainable homes is a pressing need across the UK, so we were delighted to work with Hightown on their successful return to the private placement market.
“There was strong investor support for Hightown’s strategy, with the success of the transaction also highlighting continued investor appetite for well-run housing associations providing high quality homes for their customers.”
Main image: Hightown’s Heart of Maylands affordable housing development in Hemel Hempstead
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