Home Manchester Beever and Struthers plays key role in £250m bond issue to provide...

Beever and Struthers plays key role in £250m bond issue to provide funding for 700 new homes a year until 2024

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John Jones

Accountants and business advisors Beever and Struthers provided key financial advice on a major bond issue that raised £250m (£100m retained) to provide 700 new homes a year over the next six years, including 600 affordable units a year.

The Manchester-based firm acted for its client Longhurst Group, an independent provider of affordable homes, care and support services throughout the Midlands and East England, on raising the £250m through the bonds market.

This is the second bond issue Beever and Struthers has assisted Longhurst Group with, advising on an initial bond issue in 2012. In addition to our work with Longhurst the firm has also acted on a further bond issue in the last nine months as private registered providers (PRPs) look to access capital market funding.

As reporting accountant, Beever and Struthers was responsible for key roles such as the provision of financial information in the bond prospectus issued to potential investors, verifying this to be accurate and not misleading, and confirming there had been no adverse change in the financial position of the Group since the latest audited accounts.

The £250m raised will be used to deliver 3,500 homes throughout the Midlands over the next five years – around 1,800 of the properties will be affordable rent with the remainder being for low cost home ownership and market sale.

The bond issue also involved Longhurst’s financial advisors Savills Capital Advisors Limited, funders Lloyds Bank and NatWest, and legal advice from London-based Winckworth Sherwood and Clifford Chance.

John Jones, partner and head of corporate finance at Beever and Struthers, said: “We are one of the leading providers of specialist financial advisory services to PRPs and other not-for-profit organisations nationwide and were delighted to assist Longhurst with this tremendously successful fund raising.”

Rob Griffiths, deputy chief executive and chief financial officer at Longhurst Group, said: “We’re very pleased with the results from our latest bond issue and the level of interest from investors.

“We will be using the proceeds from the bond issue to fund our forward development programme where we are looking to deliver much needed new homes each year for affordable rent, low cost home ownership and market sale.

“This is another significant step in the group’s history. It makes us stronger financially, will help us realise our ambitious growth plans and continue to improve the lives through the provision of more homes.”

Longhurst Group, based in Boston, Lincs, already owns and manages more than 22,500 homes in the Midlands.