Vale of Aylesbury Housing Trust (the Trust) has announced the completion of a large-scale restructuring of its debt, freeing up over £225m of new facilities.
The Trust says the restructing will help facilitate the delivery of its new ‘Bigger, Better, Bolder and Beyond’ Corporate Strategy, which was launched earlier this year.
Part of the £225m funding will replace the original transfer facilities that were put in place when the Trust was created in 2006.
The new funding will also support the delivery of the Trust’s long-term development plan, which includes the construction of over 1,000 affordable homes in Aylesbury Vale and surrounding areas over the next five years.
Handelsbanken and Nationwide Building Society are providing £100m of new loan facilities, and £125m new funding has been raised via long-term private placement (PP) with two institutional investors.
Barclays Bank remains the principal bank lender to the Group.
The Trust says the restructuring provides it with a diverse portfolio of banking and institutional facilities, with modern covenants designed to facilitate future growth.
The restructuring has taken place during the COVID crisis, and the Trust says it was “delighted” with the level of interest shown by both the institutional and banking market in its business.
The Trust says that, in the end, the banks and institutions selected offered the best terms and pricing, with the long-term PP, drawable in 2021 and 2022, locking in rates of circa 2.50% for around 30 years.
Stephen Stringer, chair of the Trust’s board, said: “We are delighted to have concluded this refinancing exercise.
“The new funding will enable us to deliver our growth strategy, continue our investment in existing homes, and help drive our environmental plans towards having a zero-carbon footprint.
“We are maintaining our long-term relationship with our existing funder, Barclays, as well as welcoming new lenders and investors to the group.
“The Trust is being shown a large number of opportunities, and the new funds will allow us to select those that meet our criteria and ambitions and enable us to continue delivering new homes for those most in housing need.”
The Trust was supported by a team of advisers throughout the process including Chatham Financial as debt and structuring adviser; Devonshires and Morrison & Foerster (on the PP) providing legal counsel; and JLL on property valuation. Santander arranged the Private Placement.
Vale of Aylesbury Housing is a not-for-profit Registered Provider of affordable housing for over 17,000 people living and working in Aylesbury Vale and beyond.
It owns and manages over 7,500 homes across Aylesbury Vale, Hertfordshire, South Northamptonshire, and South Oxfordshire.
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