LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Assured Guaranty (Europe) Ltd. (AGE)* announces that it has guaranteed principal and interest payments on approximately £261 million of bonds and notes raised by St. James’s Oncology Financing Plc to refinance a PFI project for the design, building and maintenance of the Bexley oncology wing of the St. James’s University Hospital in Leeds. As a result of the guarantee, the bonds and notes are rated AA by S&P Global Ratings. The underlying project is rated BBB.
The 20-year bonds and notes were issued on 31 March 2017. The spread over the relevant spot Gilt rate is 140 bps per annum. The debt issuance was innovatively structured to provide three tranches of debt: a private placement note issuance, a listed fixed rate bond issuance and a listed index-linked bond issuance, with the total issuance being oversubscribed due to high demand from investors.
The original Bexley oncology project reached financial close in 2004 and has been fully operational for approximately 9 years, having been successfully built and operated by St. James’s Oncology SPC Limited (ProjectCo) for the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust. The 350 inpatient Bexley Wing, home to Leeds Cancer Centre and a national specialist transplantation centre, is part of Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, one of the largest teaching hospitals in Europe, serving a population of 850k in Leeds and 4.5m across Yorkshire and the Humber region. ProjectCo is owned by Civis PFI/PPP Infrastructure Fund and Aberdeen Infrastructure Partners, each with an indirect 50% equity share.
Dominic Nathan, Managing Director, Assured Guaranty (Europe) Ltd, commented:
"The significant market demand allowed the transaction to be priced with a competitive spread of 140 bps per annum which attests to the high demand from investors for long dated, guaranteed debt that can match their liabilities. The continued low interest rate environment has created the ideal conditions for sponsors to refinance, significantly reducing the cost of their current debt, as well as increasing the amount of proceeds.”
Nick Proud, Chief Executive, AGE, commented:
“This is our largest transaction since 2008 and it attracted significant interest from investors, including U.S. private placement investors as a direct result of the innovative structuring which included a private placement tranche. We have guaranteed approximately £450 million of new market issuance in the space of one week, evidencing the fact that Assured Guaranty have firmly returned to being an important force in the infrastructure capital markets."
AGE* guarantees timely payment of scheduled principal and interest to bondholders and noteholders throughout the life of the debt, in accordance with the terms of its financial guarantees.
The advisers of AGE* on the deal were CMS Cameron McKenna (legal adviser), Faithful & Gould (technical adviser) and Marsh (insurance adviser). Lloyds Bank was the bond lead manager and its US broker dealer Lloyds Securities Inc. acted as placement agent.
All of the securities having been sold, this announcement is for information purposes only. This announcement does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any securities.
The securities described herein have not been and will not be registered under the United States Securities Act of 1933, as amended ("Securities Act"), or with any securities regulatory authority of any state or jurisdiction of the United States, and may not be offered, sold or transferred, directly or indirectly, in the United States absent registration under the Securities Act or an available exemption from, or in a transaction not subject to, the registration requirements of the Securities Act and the securities laws of any state or other jurisdiction of the United States.
* AGE (company number 2510099) is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. AGE provides its financial guarantee together with a co-guarantee from its affiliate Assured Guaranty Municipal Corp. (AGM).
Through its subsidiaries, Assured Guaranty Ltd. (AGL and, together with its subsidiaries, Assured Guaranty) is the leading provider of financial guarantees for principal and interest payments due on municipal, public infrastructure and structured financings. Its subsidiary AGM guarantees international infrastructure and U.S. municipal bonds - and was previously named Financial Security Assurance Inc. (FSA) before becoming an Assured Guaranty company in July 2009. AGE, a subsidiary of AGM, is Assured Guaranty’s European operating platform. AGL is a publicly traded (NYSE: AGO), Bermuda-based holding company. More information on AGL and its subsidiaries can be found at AssuredGuaranty.com.
Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements:
Any forward-looking statements made in this press release reflect Assured Guaranty’s current views with respect to future events and are made pursuant to the safe harbour provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements involve risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those set forth in these statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, those resulting from Assured Guaranty’s inability to execute its strategies; the demand for Assured Guaranty’s financial guarantees; further actions that the rating agencies may take with respect to Assured Guaranty’s financial strength ratings; adverse developments in Assured Guaranty’s guaranteed portfolio; and other risks and uncertainties that have not been identified at this time, management’s response to these factors, and other risk factors identified in AGL’s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which are made as of 3 April 2017. Assured Guaranty undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.