Supporting Great Places to tackle the UK housing crisis

04 February 2021

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More than just a landlord

Great Places Housing Group, which owns over 24,000 homes across the North West and Yorkshire, is much more than just a landlord: the Manchester-based profit-for-purpose organisation offers a wide range of services for its residents, including support that promotes independence and wellbeing for some of society's most vulnerable people.

Great Places Housing Group operates in two of England’s most important devolved regions, Greater Manchester and Sheffield City Region and has developed over 6,000 new homes over the past 10 years, with a core aim to maximise investment in affordable, high quality and sustainable homes.

The Group reinvests any surplus in full to build new homes and enhance its services. The company also aims to achieve an Energy Efficiency Performance rating of C or better for all its homes by 2028.

£70 million retained portion of existing bond attracts new investors

In order to issue the final £70 million retained portion of its existing £345 million bond, due in 2042, the housing association turned again to NatWest to manage the launch and to advise on investor communication and selection.

Following a day of group and individual investor presentations, investors showed strong appetite resulting in a fast growing, seven times oversubscribed order book, which allowed Great Places to price the sale at an extremely competitive spread of 120 basis points and an all-in cost of 1.998%.

With over 30 investors submitting orders, Great Place not only managed to raise funds amongst those investors who had already supported the firm’s initial bond and subsequent tap issuances, but also attracted new parties – emphasising the housing association’s compelling sustainable growth story.

The money raised will go towards funding the group’s affordable home development programme.

Building new homes and vibrant, sustainable communities

Commenting on the issue, George Flynn, Debt & Financing Solutions at NatWest, said: “We’re delighted to support Great Places with this highly successful retained sale. Through careful planning and clear investor messaging, the Great Places team captured investors’ attention resulting in significant oversubscription and a negative new issue concession. The result is testament to the strength of the credit story, the agility, and speed of execution. We’re excited that we can actively contribute to social, economic and environmental progress in the UK through this and many similar transactions.”

Phil Elvy, Executive Director of Finance for Great Places Housing Group, stated:
“Great Places is delighted with the brilliant outcome of this transaction and we have really valued the guidance and support of the NatWest team in helping us to this successful conclusion. From the initial kick-off meeting right through to the final pricing NatWest have been exemplary in their professional approach and the advice they have provided.”

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