TradeRisks has announced the placement of a 35-year student accommodation bond financing at London’s Kingston University. The bond is 50% fixed and 50% RPI-linked and carries a credit rating of AA by S&P Global Ratings – benefiting from a guarantee by Assured Guaranty (Europe) plc and its affiliate Assured Guaranty Municipal Corp.
TradeRisks privately placed the bonds with three institutional investors. And this was the first investment in the student accommodation sector for one of the investors. The project was structured to achieve an investment grade underlying project rating from S&P. The pricing on 27 July 2020 took advantage of near record-low interest rates.
“We are delighted to have supported Equitix, ENGIE and Kingston University in this financing, which will help the university to provide high-quality, affordable and attractive accommodation.
“The ability to close this transaction during the Covid-19 pandemic is testament to the experience of the parties involved, the strength of the project structure and the university’s management.”Kyle Rosevear, Director Capital Markets, TradeRisks
The bonds will finance a transformative refurbishment of 1,216 existing student rooms, the addition of 117 new rooms, the provision of new indoor and outdoor communal areas, and a business incubator hub at Kingston University’s Kingston Hill and Seething Wells sites.
ENGIE Regeneration will provide construction for the project, which will be carried out over two years – with completion expected in September 2022. ENGIE Services will maintain and operate the student accommodation over the 50-year project term. Equitix, ENGIE and Kingston University are joint sponsors of the project company.
TradeRisks acted for the sponsors as arranger for the financing. The advisors to Assured Guaranty were Norton Rose Fulbright (legal advisor), AECOM (technical advisor), Cushman & Wakefield (demand advisor) and Marsh (insurance advisor).