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Optivo Successfully Raises C£150 Million Of Deferred Funding

Newbridge has once again supported the housing associations sector in an innovative deferred funding exercise, this time for Optivo, who...

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Optivo successfully raises c£150 million of deferred funding

Newbridge has once again supported the housing associations sector in an innovative deferred funding exercise, this time for Optivo, who successfully raised c£150 million for settlement in 18 months. The transaction helps de-risk the business plan and further supports Optivo’s core aspiration in providing much needed social housing to its community. With a strong short-term liquidity position, bolstered further by securing access to the Covid Corporate Financing Facility (“CCFF”) in May this year, Optivo’s treasury strategy has focussed on longer term funding, particularly given the current favourable market conditions. Optivo have also undertaken extensive work on its credit positioning in recent months, alongside its newly revamped investor relations website and issuing its first ESG report and looked towards this transaction as a way to capitalise on the recent strong performance of Optivo’s credit spreads. The transaction structure offered three key benefits to Optivo: 1) The 18-month deferral, at a credit spread inside of its secondary curve, provided a significant cost of carry saving versus an immediately drawn bond issue 2) Increasing the size of the 2043 bond to “benchmark” (£250m plus), the liquidity in the secondary market should improve as a result of it becoming eligible to index funds 3) Raising £150m of proceeds against a nominal value of £100m, the secured transaction offers Optivo security charging efficiencies This excellent result demonstrates the strong positioning enjoyed by Optivo within the capital markets and reaffirms its long-term strategic plan is understood and supported by bondholders.

Bromford Completes Second Deferred Deal In Two Months

Newbridge were delighted to recently support Bromford with two deferred funding transactions in 2020. In July, Bromford finalised a £90m...

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Bromford completes second deferred deal in two months

Newbridge were delighted to recently support Bromford with two deferred funding transactions in 2020. In July, Bromford finalised a £90m deal with a leading UK investor, at a record low coupon despite it being deferred for 18 months. The funding will be used to finance its ongoing housebuilding programme which aims to deliver 12,000 homes over the next eight years. It’s the latest in a string of successful funding transactions for the Midlands-based provider, and the second long-dated deferred deal Bromford have entered into since the onset of Covid-19. The deal follows the £100m private placement agreed with LGIM which will be drawn in May 2021 and brings its total funding activity in the last two years to over £1bn. Head of Treasury Imran Mubeen said: “We remain absolutely committed to our strategy of developing more homes to meet this country’s growing demand for social and affordable housing. We have continued to stress test our cashflow and business plan to reflect new Covid-19 scenarios, all of which confirmed that we require new funding in early 2022. “These deferred funding deals deliver certainty on the availability of future funding at record low rates and allow us to approach our future development objectives with confidence. We have long established several routes to market and have once again mobilised quickly to lock in our record low coupon with an established investor who endorse our business plan and the understand way we work." Grant Vaughan, a Partner at Newbridge Advisors who advised on the transaction said: “Once again Bromford have demonstrated how a nimble and proactive treasury strategy can yield fantastic results and de-risk the business plan. Taking advantage of the current market conditions has locked in significant value for the group.”  

Newbridge Adds Social Housing Treasury Capability

Newbridge is pleased to welcome Chris Evans, who has joined as a Director from the DCM team at Lloyds Bank....

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Newbridge adds Social Housing Treasury Capability

Newbridge is pleased to welcome Chris Evans, who has joined as a Director from the DCM team at Lloyds Bank.
The appointment represents significant further growth of the Newbridge social housing and structured bond franchise.  During his 10 years at Lloyds, Chris led a number of innovative structures within the social housing and structured bond sectors and will bring expertise in Capital Markets alongside Treasury Management and Environmental, Social & Governance ("ESG").
Reflecting on the appointment, Newbridge Advisors Partner Grant Vaughan said "We are delighted to have Chris joining the team at Newbridge. We have made great progress in positioning Newbridge as a trusted advisor within the social housing sector and Chris is a fantastic addition to solidify and expand this offering."

Newbridge Appointed To Government-wide Corporate Finance Advisory Panel

Newbridge is delighted to have been appointed to the Crown Commercial Service (or CCS) - Corporate Financial Services Framework Two...

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Newbridge appointed to government-wide corporate finance advisory panel

Newbridge is delighted to have been appointed to the Crown Commercial Service (or CCS) - Corporate Financial Services Framework Two (RM6169) Lot-6 Corporate finance infrastructure. This offers the provision of advice to Government Departments, Local Authorities, NHS Trusts, Non-Departmental Public Bodies, Arm’s Length Bodies and Agencies, across England, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland.  

Newbridge Advises I-4 Mobility Partners Regarding $125m Project Amendments To Their $2bn Project

The I-4 Ultimate Project consists of the reconstruction, improvement, and addition of new express lanes to the I-4 in Florida....

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Newbridge advises I-4 Mobility Partners regarding $125m project amendments to their $2bn project

The I-4 Ultimate Project consists of the reconstruction, improvement, and addition of new express lanes to the I-4 in Florida. The shareholders, Skanska and John Laing, reached financial close on the $2bn project in 2014. The project is currently in construction and I-4 Mobility Partners and the Florida Department of Transportation agreed several amendments to optimize the delivery programme. On behalf of I-4 Mobility Partners, Newbridge developed a bespoke model to analyse multiple scenarios of the revised contract and complex timetable amendments and provided analysis of the consequences.  

Newbridge Advises The Guinness Partnership On Retained Bond Sale And £400m New Bond Issue

Over the last 12 months, Newbridge have worked with The Guinness Partnership to establish and implement the most appropriate funding...

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Newbridge advises The Guinness Partnership on retained bond sale and £400m new bond issue

Over the last 12 months, Newbridge have worked with The Guinness Partnership to establish and implement the most appropriate funding strategy to further their ambitions to provide more low cost housing to tenants in England.The funding strategy contemplated funding requirements; sequencing; and of course the best sources of funding. As Guinness had Retained Bonds from their 2044 Bonds, it was important to consider the sale of these bonds in the context of a larger new public bond issuance.  

Retained Bond Sale 

  • Having received a reverse enquiry from an investor, this was flagged to Guinness and an attractive proposal was discussed
  • Assisted in the structure (deferred settle), documentation, process co-ordination and of course pricing
  • Sale was completed with a minimal new issue concession

New Bond Issue

  • Guinness issued a £400 million 35-year bond with a coupon of 2.0%
  • The timing was important as this was completed almost at the height of the COVID-19 related market volatility. Careful navigation and strategising was necessary
  • Newbridge worked with the team at Guinness and helped navigate them through this unprecedented market volatility
This transaction highlights how the Newbridge team can add extensive value at each stage of a transaction's development, from the initial planning through to successful execution. It is never certain what issues may arise throughout the life of a transaction, and we look forward to leveraging our experience to assist other social housing clients as they consider their future funding strategies. For further information, please contact Grant Vaughan, Partner.

Obituary: Jeremy Froud

We are shocked and saddened by the recent passing of Jeremy Froud, a Partner at Newbridge Advisors. Our sincere condolences...

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Obituary: Jeremy Froud

We are shocked and saddened by the recent passing of Jeremy Froud, a Partner at Newbridge Advisors. Our sincere condolences go out to Jeremy's family, friends and colleagues, he will be missed greatly. Jeremy was well known as a veteran of the UK bond markets having worked at Barclays for 28 years and built a world class UK bond business. His achievements are too many to list, but particular highlights would have been his role establishing the whole business securitisation structure for UK utilities and structuring the first UK corporate hybrid transaction. Jeremy was also incredibly well known in the social housing sector as someone who always delivered for his clients. During his time at Newbridge, Jeremy made an invaluable contribution to the team and the business. His kindness, generosity, unrivalled intelligence and quick wit is going to be missed by us all.

Newbridge Advises Anglian Water On Large-scale Solar Procurement

The water sector in England has made a public commitment to be net zero carbon by 2030. Newbridge Advisors, as...

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Newbridge advises Anglian Water on large-scale solar procurement

The water sector in England has made a public commitment to be net zero carbon by 2030. Newbridge Advisors, as strategic, commercial and financial renewables advisors, worked with Anglian Water to established a solar and energy storage framework comprising experienced investors to enable it to achieve the 2030 goal. Newbridge also advised Anglian Water prior to the award of the first project under the framework – an agreement with one of the framework partners to design, operate and own over 35MW of solar assets and sell power directly to Anglian Water through a private wire PPA for a 25-year period. David Riley, Anglian Water’s Head of Carbon Neutrality said “We never stop looking for ways to improve what we do, to keep us ahead in a changing world, and our renewables ambition will see us integrate solar and energy storage to help us in our journey to becoming a more sustainable business. “Ours is the driest region in the UK, particularly vulnerable to climate change and one of the fastest growing parts of the country. “As we tackle these challenges, we are working hard to reduce our carbon footprint including increasing the amount of renewable energy we generate to help power our operations.” Jeremy Froud, Partner at Newbridge Advisors said “We are thrilled to have helped Anglian Water establish this approach to find a partner to ultimately deliver its current on-site solar ambitions whilst also identifying a framework of credible investors that will, over time, create useful relationships, essential in such a fast evolving sector for future projects, that can only help the organisation reach its net zero carbon goals. “Newbridge was ideally placed to support Anglian Water: the team’s water industry expertise, renewables experience and in-depth knowledge of the underling investor base, combined with our experience of achieving best value, meant Anglian Water could always be confident they were running a highly competitive process that was focused on delivery as well as pricing.”

Link’s Development Programme Bolstered By Innovative Financing

Affordable housing provider, Link Group Ltd has recently secured £50 million 20-year funding with the support of Newbridge Advisors. The...

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Link’s development programme bolstered by innovative financing

Affordable housing provider, Link Group Ltd has recently secured £50 million 20-year funding with the support of Newbridge Advisors.

The funds, which have been structured with the benefit of a financial guarantee provided by Assured Guaranty (Europe) plc and its affiliate Assured Guaranty Municipal Corp. (together referred to as Assured Guaranty), have been provided by Canada Life.

Neil Hall, Link Group Director of Finance and Corporate Services, commented: “We are delighted to have secured this funding to support our significant development programme.

“In line with the Scottish Government’s commitment to building more affordable housing, we have an ambitious development programme and this funding package will help us to deliver these homes.

“Link is a financially robust group and we need to ensure any financing we secure is reflective of our strong credit profile.

“Cost and certainty of funding were our two key areas of focus, and this financing, structured by Newbridge Advisors, delivered on both.”

The Notes have been rated AA by S&P Global Ratings, in line with Assured Guaranty’s financial strength rating, which offers significant capital benefits to certain investors under Solvency II. On this basis, this transaction was able to offer significant value to Link in terms of all-in funding costs.

Grant Vaughan, Partner at Newbridge Advisors, said:

“This financing structure is designed to offer pricing benefits to a number of social housing providers. We are thrilled to have completed this transaction for Link, at pricing which is tighter than what was being offered in the broader market. We are pleased to have been trusted by Link to work together to demonstrate the effectiveness of this financing structure. “

David Marchant, Chief Investment Officer at Canada Life Investments said:

“We are delighted to enter into this transaction with Link Group. We have a long track record lending to the social housing sector providing a variety of funding solutions and look forward to working with Link and Assured Guaranty over the term of this private placement.”

Newbridge Advises On Homes England Loan For Swan Housing

Newbridge Advisors supported the Swan Housing and Homes England teams on financing a £170m mixed use development in Basildon. More...

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Newbridge Advises on Homes England loan for Swan Housing

Newbridge Advisors supported the Swan Housing and Homes England teams on financing a £170m mixed use development in Basildon.

More than 760 new homes and almost 8,000 square metres of retail and commercial space are being built in Basildon following a £30 million funding boost from Homes England.

The loan from the government’s housing delivery agency will help to redevelop the Craylands Estate, renamed as Beechwood Village, and the Laindon Shopping Centre, which will become Laindon Place.

More than 550 new homes are being built at the Beechwood site, including up to 110 affordable homes, whilst 210 homes and over 7,000 sq m of commercial space will be developed at Laindon.

The funding will allow Swan Housing Association, who are working in partnership with Basildon Borough Council, to develop both schemes at the same time, enabling the final three phases of regeneration at Beechwood Village and new homes at Laindon shopping centre to be completed more quickly.

When completed, Laindon Place will include a new high street with shops, a supermarket, and a new health centre. The new homes to be built at Beechwood Village will be in addition to more than 400 homes, retail units and community centre completed in earlier phases.

Homes England has agreed the loan as part of its £290 million Estates Regeneration Fund, which offers finance to kick-start and accelerate the regeneration of estates.

Almost all the homes will be built off site at Swan’s factory in Basildon, using pre-manufactured modular construction techniques.

Minister of State for Housing, Kit Malthouse MP, said:

“This funding not only supports more than 760 much-needed new homes, but further strengthens a community that residents can be proud of through new commercial and civic spaces for the people of Basildon.

“It’s all part of how this Government is supporting the delivery 300,000 new homes a year by the mid-2020s, helping a new generation to realise the dream of home ownership.”

Sir Edward Lister, Chairman of Homes England said: “The Beechwood Village and Laindon Place regeneration projects are key priorities for Basildon and we’ve worked closely with Swan Housing Association to ensure the new homes local people need can become a reality.”

“Homes England strongly supports the use of modern methods of construction (MMC) as a means of delivering good quality homes at pace, so it’s great to see these methods being used to build better homes faster in Basildon.”

It’s anticipated that work at both sites will be completed by autumn 2024.

Geoff Pearce, Executive Director – Regeneration and Development of Swan Housing Association, said:

“Swan Housing Association and our long-term partner, Basildon Borough Council, are delighted to receive this funding boost from Homes England. It will enable us to build much needed high-quality homes, more quickly, at both Beechwood Village and Laindon Place. These homes will be built both using our state-of-the-art modular factory in Basildon and by traditional methods of construction. This partnership helps Swan towards our ambitious target of building an additional 10,000 homes by 2027 and Basildon towards its strategic growth goals for the Borough.”

University Of Brighton Student Accommodation

Newbridge Advisors has advised Uliving on winning and achieving Financial Close on a new student accommodation project at University of...

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University of Brighton Student Accommodation

Newbridge Advisors has advised Uliving on winning and achieving Financial Close on a new student accommodation project at University of Brighton. The five new towers at the Moulsecoomb campus, ranging in height from 8 to 18 floors, will provide over 800 affordable student bedrooms and space at ground level for new Students’ Union and fitness facilities. The visually striking development is being built on the site of the university’s Mithras House car park and is due to be ready for students starting courses from September 2021. University of Brighton Vice-Chancellor, Professor Debra Humphris said: “This is a huge milestone as work begins on the next stage of the university’s biggest ever capital development programme. The new student accommodation and other facilities that form part of the Big Build will transform our biggest campus.” Development partner Uliving is taking on the financing, development and management of the new student facilities with a 50-year operating term. Its investment partner is John Laing and Aviva Investors’ Lime Property Fund is providing long-term development finance through an income strip deal. The development will be delivered by construction company Bouygues UK, and Bouygues Energies and Services will be in charge of facilities management. Axel Boutrolle, Uliving’s CEO, said: “We are excited to be working with the University of Brighton to bring its ambitions to life. The Moulsecoomb campus will boost the availability of modern, high-quality, purpose built student accommodation in this vibrant city, freeing up homes for local families”.

1,500 Homes For The Olympic Park

Newbridge has advised a joint venture of Places for people and Balfour Beatty on winning and reaching Financial Close on...

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1,500 Homes for the Olympic Park

Newbridge has advised a joint venture of Places for people and Balfour Beatty on winning and reaching Financial Close on the first phase of the development of 1,500 new homes on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, with debt funded by Homes England.

Investment will help create two new neighbourhoods at Stratford. More than 40 per cent of homes in the first phase of the development will be affordable. The development includes schools, business and commercial space.

More than 1,500 new homes, including 450 affordable homes, will be created across the two communities, which will be known as East Wick and Sweetwater.

Schools, green spaces, business and creative space, leisure and community facilities will also be developed at the two sites.

Homes England have agreed a £78 million loan to fund the first four phases of the scheme, being developed on land owned by the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC).

Housing Minister Kit Malthouse MP said:

“We have not built enough homes in the capital over the last 30 years, and it’s ordinary Londoners who are paying the price.

“Brick-by-brick we are turning that around and this investment in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park will help get more than 1,500 properties built.”

It is anticipated that the first phase of the development will be completed in summer 2021, with work at East Wick and Sweetwater being fully completed by 2028.

Sir Edward Lister, Chairman of Homes England added: “Homes England is committed to helping ambitious partners build quality homes at pace, in the areas of greatest need.

“We’re delighted to be supporting Balfour Beatty Investments and Places for People to create the homes and neighbourhoods people in London deserve.”

Newbridge Supports A2Dominion On An Innovative £75m Unsecured Deferred EMTN Transaction

A2Dominion Housing Group Limited have agreed £75 million of unsecured funding, issued off its EMTN Programme, with settlement deferred to...

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Newbridge supports A2Dominion on an innovative £75m unsecured deferred EMTN transaction

A2Dominion Housing Group Limited have agreed £75 million of unsecured funding, issued off its EMTN Programme, with settlement deferred to March 2022. The 20-year bonds are priced with a fixed coupon of 4.25% and as such remove any market risk over what is undoubtedly going to be a volatile period.

Newbridge Advisors worked closely with A2Dominion to understand their funding requirements and sourced the liquidity from BAE Systems Pension Fund. The transaction is designed to minimise any refinancing risks in relation to A2Dominion’s £150m retail bond (at a coupon of 4.75%) maturing in October 2022, whilst avoiding any associated cost of carry.

Dean Tufts, A2Dominion’s Executive Director (Finance & Strategy), said “We were very pleased to secure this long-term funding which further demonstrates the prudent financial strategy we have in place. The certainty of this funding will enable us to continue our focus to deliver high quality homes and invest in local communities.”

Devonshires provided legal advice to A2Dominion Housing Group Limited, with Allen & Overy LLP providing legal advice to BAE Systems Pension Fund.

Newbridge Advises Southern On £300m Bond Issue

Newbridge advised Southern Housing Group issued a £300m (incl £100m retained) 29-year secured bond issue at Gilts +158 basis points,...

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Newbridge advises Southern on £300m bond issue

Newbridge advised Southern Housing Group issued a £300m (incl £100m retained) 29-year secured bond issue at Gilts +158 basis points, offering a coupon of 3.50%. Primary lead for Newbridge was Grant Vaughan who has extensive experience in structuring and executing bonds and private placements for housing associations.

Newbridge Adds Bond Placement Capability

Newbridge are pleased to welcome Grant Vaughan, who joins from Lloyds Bank where he was a director in the DCM...

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Newbridge adds bond placement capability

Newbridge are pleased to welcome Grant Vaughan, who joins from Lloyds Bank where he was a director in the DCM team. Grant will be enhancing our capital markets expertise and adding an institutional debt placement capability in both the social housing and infrastructure space in order to provide a broader range of services to our clients. Grant is well known in the social housing sector, having led in excess of 50 transactions across the bond and private placement markets. Grant has also led a number of infrastructure refinancings, most recently the Connect Plus (M25) bond as well as other PPP transactions.

Newbridge also welcomes Henri Cooke, who joins from Operis, enhancing our analytical team.

Commenting on these recent appointments, Newbridge Advisors Partner Matthew Houseley said: “We are really excited that Grant has joined, adding a new product to Newbridge’s services and, with Henri, we look forward to increasing our ability to support clients in delivering more social housing and infrastructure projects.”