Enabling better lives through building better homes
Platform Housing Group (PHG), the largest housing association in the Midlands, provides 46,000 homes and serves 120,000 residents across an area stretching from Herefordshire in the West to the Lincolnshire coast in the East, and from the Derbyshire Dales in the North to the Cotswolds in the South.
Having built over 3,000 homes in the past two years – including 981 social rent homes – PHG has delivered more than any other provider in England in that period.
PHG has a strong social purpose that goes beyond just building a better future by investing in affordable homes, services and communities; but ensures those homes are energy efficient and affordable for their residents to heat too.
EMTN programme allows PHG to access capital markets at speed
To increase its agility and speed of market access, and to take advantage of favourable market conditions more quickly, PHG asked NatWest to help establish a £1billion Euro Medium Term Note (EMTN) programme with a clear ESG focus, allowing future issuances to be both in foreign currency and sustainability-linked.
The programme demonstrates the housing association’s commitment to raise funds through the debt capital markets; it follows its £350million bond issued in July 2020, which achieved an impressive yield of 1.71%. PHG will use the funding from the EMTN programme to develop further affordable housing across the Midlands and to improve the energy efficiency of its existing homes.
EMTN programmes have become a popular model amongst housing associations looking to enhance their access to the debt capital markets by cutting down preparation time for future bonds, because the EMTN programme covers the majority of the upfront work that would otherwise be required for each issuance. PHG is the seventh major housing association in the UK to adopt the EMTN model for issuing debt.
Programme helps to alleviate housing shortage
George Flynn, Debt & Financing Solutions, NatWest, commented: “We’re delighted to have supported Platform Housing Group as sole arranger in the establishment of its £1billion EMTN programme. This follows our support during their inaugural £350million bond, executed in 2020, and provides a flexible and versatile framework to maximise Platform’s funding agility in accessing the capital markets. NatWest is the biggest supporter of businesses in the UK, and we’re excited that we can actively contribute to social, economic and environmental progress through helping customers with a strong social purpose such as PHG.”
Elizabeth Froude, Chief Executive, Platform Housing Group, said: “We are delighted to have established an EMTN programme which will play a key part in our Treasury Strategy for the coming years. The programme signals that Platform is committed to raising funds from the capital markets, and our A+ ratings demonstrate we remain a sound investment. The programme will help us access the funding that we need to invest in our homes and our communities as we continue to help alleviate the Midlands housing shortage and provide enhanced life prospects for more people.”
Rosemary Farrar, Chief Finance Officer, Platform Housing Group, said: “We are extremely pleased with the successful outcome and have enjoyed working with the NatWest team. They were on hand at all times, and their insights and efforts played a huge part in achieving such a superb result.”
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