Assured Guaranty (Europe) Ltd. (AGE)* announces the successful close of a £101.8 million wrapped bond issued by the “Sustainable Communities for Leeds (sc4l)” consortium to finance the redevelopment of the Little London, Beeston Hill and Holbeck area in Leeds. The publicly listed bond was priced at a coupon of 5.069% on July 5th and was oversubscribed following a successful roadshow. The bonds were sold at par.
The consortium was appointed as preferred bidder by Leeds City Council and includes Equitix, SWIP Infrastructure Funds and Keepmoat and is project managed by Sweett Group. Lloyds Bank was the bond lead manager. Leeds will fund debt service based on housing availability and receive related UK Private Finance Initiative (PFI) credits from the UK government.
As a financial guarantor, AGE guarantees timely payment of scheduled principal and interest to bondholders, throughout the 19-year life of the bond.
The Little London, Beeston Hill and Holbeck social housing project includes the refurbishment of 1,245 homes plus external works to 51 leaseholders and construction of 388 new homes. This will create an improved community estate with predominately family housing, together with new parks and play areas, reinvigorating a community and economic hub close to the centre of Leeds.
Nick Proud, Chief Executive Officer of Assured Guaranty (Europe) Ltd., commented:
"The high investor demand for this wrapped bond bodes well for future PFI and PF2 infrastructure financings in the capital markets. It proves that Assured Guaranty’s bond wrap provides value to Leeds City Council, the project’s consortium, the bondholders and also for taxpayers. We believe wrapped bonds to be a key element of UK infrastructure financing, once again, and we are ready to guarantee a significant quantum of infrastructure debt."
*AGE provides its financial guarantee together with a co-guarantee from its affiliate Assured Guaranty Municipal Corp. (AGM) Assured Guaranty Finance Overseas Ltd. (company number 4031467) (AGFOL), which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, has permission to arrange contracts of insurance including financial guarantees for its affiliate AGM. AGFOL has approved this press release.
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 11 July, 2013. 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.
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, an indirect subsidiary of AGM, is Assured Guaranty’s European operating platform.
AGE (company number 2510099) is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.
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Mark Lunn, College Hill +44 (0) 207 457 2020