Landmark financing structure for an LSVT

£150 million funding

In April 2015, County Durham Housing Group secured £150 million of funding for a large scale voluntary transfer (LSVT) through a combination of £75 million in financing from M&G Investments and £75m of shorter-term loans from a major bank. This was an innovative deal—the first LSVT to be financed by a blend of capital markets finance and bank debt.

Durham County Council transferred 18,400 homes amongst three registered social housing providers—Dale & Valley Homes, East Durham Homes and Durham City Homes. Together these housing associations form County Durham Housing Group.

The group structure enables the registered providers to retain their focus on their local communities, while benefiting from being part of a larger group structure. The debt was used to finance the LSVT, as well as to fund refurbishment of the housing stock.

In addition to the management of these homes, County Durham Housing Group plans to undertake £800 million of investment over the next 30 years, and also look to develop 700 new-build properties in its first seven years. This will support the growing need for new homes in the region, as well as provide affordable accommodation for older people and vulnerable groups.

Following the LSVT, County Durham Housing Group is now one of the largest registered providers of social housing in the North East.

Alan Smith, Group Director of Finance and Resources, County Durham Housing Group says, “The mix of long-term funding from M&G and shorter-term flexibility of the bank loan produced a good fit for the business plan. It also created a fully funded offer, minimising refinancing risk within the plan”.

Mark Davie, Head of Social Housing, M&G Investments says, “This puts County Durham Housing Group on a firm footing to implement its business plan”.

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