Warrington’s Assura prices £300m sustainability bond

Jayne Cottam, Assura chief financial officer

Assura plc, the Warrington-based healthcare real estate investment trust (REIT), on Wednesday announced the pricing of its first sustainability bond, a £300 million sterling-denominated senior unsecured bond with a tenor of 12 years.

This follows a series of UK fixed income investor meetings which generated strong institutional demand.

The bond will bear interest at a rate of 1.625 per cent per annum.

The bond will be issued by Assura Financing plc and guaranteed by Assura and a number of the Assura group’s subsidiaries.

Following the issuance of the bond, Assura’s weighted average debt maturity will increase from 8.0 years to 8.7 years and the pro forma weighted average cost of debt will reduce to 2.3%.

“This sustainability bond is the first issued under the Assura Sustainable Finance Framework and the proceeds will be used to fund or refinance eligible green and social projects, specifically the acquisition, development or refurbishment of publicly accessible primary care and community healthcare centres with green building certification as appropriate,” said Assura.

“Fitch Ratings Limited currently assigns Assura an investment grade rating of A- (stable outlook) and is expected to assign the Bond an investment grade rating of A-.

“HSBC Bank plc and J.P. Morgan Securities plc acted as joint active bookrunners.

“Barclays Bank PLC, NatWest Markets plc, Banco Santander, S.A. and Stifel Nicolaus Europe Limited acted as passive bookrunners. Assura was advised on the bond and credit rating by Rothschild & Co.”

Assura chief financial officer said Jayne Cottam said: “This is our first Sustainability Bond, following on from the Social Bond we issued in 2020, and has been met with a strong level of support from bond investors.  

“We want to make a real difference through the spaces we create and manage.

“Our social impact strategy, SixBySix, aims to maximise our contribution to society and minimise our impact on the environment.

“The issuance of our first Sustainability Bond fits naturally with SixBySix with the proceeds being used to fund eligible green and social projects.”