LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Assured Guaranty (Europe) plc (formerly Assured Guaranty (Europe) Ltd.) (AGE)* announced that it has guaranteed principal and interest payments on a par amount of approximately £61 million of bonds issued by Uliving@Essex2 Issuerco PLC. The bond proceeds will be used to finance the construction of new halls of residence at the University of Essex (the University). As a result of AGE’s wrap, the bonds are rated AA by S&P Global Ratings. The underlying project is rated BBB+.
The publicly listed 46-year inflation-linked bonds priced on 26th May 2017 at a spread of 150 bps per annum over the relevant spot Gilt rate, taking advantage of the current low long-term rates.
Bouygues UK will build the new halls, and Derwent Living will operate and maintain them. The project company, Uliving@Essex2 Limited, is owned by Equitix (80%), Bouygues (10%) and Derwent Housing Association Limited (10%).
The bonds will finance the development of the University’s new halls of residence on campus, involving the construction of a 643 new-bed facility that will be situated next to the Meadows 1 halls of residence, the bonds for which were refinanced with an AGE wrap in February this year.
Dominic Nathan, Managing Director, AGE, commented:
"For the fourth time in less than six months, AGE has provided a financial guarantee to help a UK university bring to market a cost-effective student accommodation financing. Together, these four transactions total approximately £500 million in guaranteed par. Our guarantee allows for very long-term debt that is ideal to match the lives of university projects, where concessions may last 40 years or longer, and the 100% inflation-linked debt provides highly efficient financing that adds real value to the sponsors. With a growing number of investors choosing to invest in longer maturities to match their liabilities, we are seeing growing demand for wrapped bond issuance across various sectors.”
Nick Proud, Chief Executive, AGE, commented:
“For a deal of this nature, this transaction achieved a very competitive spread because of the strong investor appetite for highly rated infrastructure bonds, driven partly by Solvency II considerations. It’s become apparent in recent months that AGE wrapped bonds should be considered when searching for the most cost-effective financing solution for an infrastructure project."
AGE guarantees timely payment of scheduled principal and interest to bondholders throughout the life of the bonds, in accordance with the terms of its financial guarantees.
The advisers of AGE on the deal were Norton Rose Fulbright (legal adviser), Aecom (technical adviser), Cushman & Wakefield (demand adviser) and Willis (insurance adviser). TradeRisks were the bond lead manager and bookrunner.
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 in any jurisdiction.
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). On 1 June 2017, AGE was re-registered as a public limited company (plc).
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 June 1, 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.