£250m sustainability bond will help Stonewater cut carbon and build thousands more homes

Leading housing provider, Stonewater, has successfully issued a £250m sustainability bond that will support its plans to deliver 6,250 homes by March 2024.

John Bruton MASTER PR IMAGE

The sustainability bond, which is accredited as helping meet environmental, social and governance aims (ESG), will also help meet other key targets and strategies to reduce net carbon emissions and support Stonewater’s social impact. Stonewater was awarded the third most sustainable housing association in the UK by Housing Digital in June 2021, testament to how sustainability is core to the organisation.

Working alongside Guinness, Stonewater has also just been named by Homes England as one of the housing agency’s largest strategic partners. The two housing providers have been provided further funding of circa £250 million to build 4,180 high-quality, affordable homes by 2029. This is in addition to the £224 million awarded to the strategic partnership by Homes England in 2018 to build 4,500 homes by 2025.

As well as supporting Stonewater’s development programme, the 15-year bond has re-established Stonewater’s presence in the public capital markets and was issued at 85 basis points over gilts (the cost of government debt), giving an all-in rate of 1.749%.

John Bruton, Deputy Chief Executive and Executive Director of Finance at Stonewater, said: “We are delighted to secure this new bond funding on such favourable terms. Despite the challenging backdrop of the pandemic, we have taken significant steps in the past 12 months to refine our financial approach and ensure our organisation continues to support customers and meet housing needs.

“In addition to being at the forefront in publishing a Sustainable Finance Framework aligned with United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, we have also launched our EMTN programme. This makes it more straightforward to raise funds and places us on a firm footing to work with our funding partners to deliver on our commitments to customers in the years to come.”

As part of its ambitious development plans, Stonewater aims to complete 1,500 homes a year from 2022/23. It is on track to achieve this, despite the recent disruption of COVID-19, with at least 1,000 new homes due to be finished in 2021/22 – almost double what it achieved last year.

The 34,255-home housing association is also investing in existing properties to ensure they remain safe and affordable for all customers from general needs social housing and shared ownership, to specialist retirement and supported living accommodation.

Deal information:

Amount: £250m through Stonewater EMTN programme (EMTN programme is up to £1bn)

All-in cost: 1.749%

Bookrunners: NatWest Markets Plc, Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets plc and Barclays Bank PLC

Legal advice: Devonshires Solicitors LLP

Treasury advice: Rothschild & Co

Disclaimer

The Bonds have not been and will not be registered under the U.S. Securities Act 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), or the laws of any state or other jurisdiction of the United States, and may not be offered or sold within the United States, or for the account or benefit of, U.S. Persons (as such terms are defined in the Regulation S under the Securities Act), absent registration or an exemption form, or in a transaction not subject to, the registration requirements of the Securities Act and applicable state laws.

This information presented herein does not comprise a prospectus for the purposes of Regulation (EU) 2017/1129 as it forms part of domestic law by virtue of the EUWA (the UK Prospectus Regulation) and/or Part VI of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000. This announcement does not constitute or form part of, and should not be construed as, an offer to sell, or the solicitation or invitation of any offer to buy or subscribe for, Bonds in any jurisdiction or an inducement to enter into investment activity. No part of this announcement, nor the fact of its distribution, should form the basis of, or be relied on in connection with, any contract or commitment or investment decision whatsoever. Any purchase of the Bonds should be made solely on the basis of the final admission particulars to be prepared, which will contain the definitive terms of the transactions described herein and be made public in accordance with the rules of the International Securities Market of the London Stock Exchange plc.

The distribution of this announcement and other information in connection with the Bonds in certain jurisdictions may be restricted by law and persons into whose possession this announcement or any document or other information referred to herein comes should inform themselves about and observe any such restrictions. Any failure to comply with these restrictions may constitute a violation of the securities laws of any such jurisdiction. This announcement and any materials distributed in connection with it are not directed to, or intended for distribution to or use by, any person or entity that is a citizen or resident or located in any locality, state, country or other jurisdiction where such distribution, publication, availability or use would be contrary to law or regulation or which would require any registration or licensing within such jurisdiction. Stonewater does not accept any liability to any person in relation to the distribution or possession of this announcement in or from any jurisdiction.