Platform Housing Group, the largest housing association in the Midlands, has established a £1bn multi-currency, ESG enabled, Euro Medium Term Note – or EMTN – programme, supported by NatWest markets acting as Sole Arranger.
Funding from the programme will be used to develop affordable housing across the Midlands and to improve the energy efficiency of its existing homes. The programme has been established to allow future issuances to be both in foreign currency and sustainability linked.
The programme demonstrates Platform’s commitment to fund raising through the debt capital markets following its £350m bond issued in July at a record breaking yield of 1.71%.
Elizabeth Froude, Chief Executive at 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 program signals that Platform is committed to fund raising from the capital markets and its A+ ratings demonstrate we remain a sound investment. It 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.”
Platform Housing Group – which owns 46,000 homes in total – completed 1,448 homes in 2019/20 (1,598 in 2018/19) at an investment of £258m (£228m in 2018/19). The Group also built more social rented homes – at a figure of 981 – during the past 2 years in England than any other provider, 523 in 2019/20, almost 33% of the total homes built.
Platform Housing Group’s operating area is 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.
NatWest Markets acted as Sole Arranger on the Programme Establishment, with Addelshaw Goddard LLP appointed as legal counsel to the joint dealers and Devonshires Solicitors LLP appointed as legal counsel to Platform Housing Group.
George Flynn, Debt & Financing Solutions at NatWest Markets commented: “We are delighted to have supported Platform as sole arranger in the establishment of its £1bn EMTN programme. This follows on from our support during its inaugural £350m Public Bond executed in 2020 and provides a flexible and versatile framework to maximise Platform’s funding agility. This will provide swift access to the capital markets for funding to support Platform’s core social purpose to expand the availability of affordable homes across the Midlands.”