Great Places Housing issues final part of £345m bond

Manchester-based housing association Great Places Housing Group said on Friday it has issued the final £70 million retained portion of its existing £345 million bond due in 2042.

Following a day of group and individual investor presentations, the sale was priced at a spread of 120 bps and an all-in cost of 1.998%.

Great Places said it was supported by NatWest Markets, Savills and Devonshires.

Great Places has more than 24,000 homes across the North West and South Yorkshire following its merger with Equity Housing Association last year.

The money raised will help fund the group’s affordable development programme.

Great Places executive director of finance Phil Elvy said: “I’m absolutely delighted with this outcome – we achieved an extremely competitive price, slightly inside our trading spread.

“The fact that the offer was seven times oversubscribed, with over 30 investors involved, demonstrates that we were able to tell a compelling story about Great Places financial strength in the midst of incredibly difficult operating conditions.

“I’m pleased that we have not only continued to maintain excellent relationships with a range of investors since our initial issue in 2012, but have attracted some new investors too.

“I’d like to thank everyone, internally and externally, involved in getting this deal over the line – a great example of teamwork in action.

“This is great news for Great Places and means we can now focus on investing the new funding in playing our part in addressing the housing crisis by developing much-needed affordable homes and building vibrant, sustainable communities.”

George Flynn of 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.”

Mike Roche, Manchester-based director at Savills Financial Consultants, said: “We are proud to have been able to support Great Places with this important exercise during such a challenging time for everyone.

“A great team effort delivered a fantastic result, with strong investor appetite and a preferential rate that strengthens Great Places’ ability to continue the successful delivery of its corporate objectives.”

Julian Barker, partner at Devonshires, said: “We’re delighted to have worked with Great Places again on another highly successful bond issue.

“The excellent pricing for the issue shows that there remains strong investor appetite for investment in the RP sector as a whole and, in particular, financially robust and well run associations like Great Places.”