Platform Housing, the largest housing association in the Midlands, has debuted a £350m 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 £1bn from 60 investors.
Platform says the interest in the bond provided a strong endorsement for its strategy, a key part of which is to expand the availability of new affordable homes across the Midlands.
It says that raising these funds will enable it to continue with these plans with even greater confidence.
Commenting on the bond issue, Elizabeth Froude, group chief executive, said: “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.”
Platform says the bond issue further enhances its 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 35-year maturity is among 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).
John Weguelin, chair of the group board, said: “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.”
Platform Housing is the largest housing association in the Midlands, owning more than 45,000 homes.