The social bond offer for Golden Lane Housing Ltd (the “Charity”) has closed early and oversubscribed after significant interest from institutional and retail investors.
The offer of 3.25% social bonds due 2031, from special purpose issuer Retail Charity Bonds PLC (“RCB”) and managed by Allia C&C, was launched on 1 July 2021 and closed after less than a week at 2pm on 6 July 2021. £11 million of the bonds have been sold to investors while a further £4 million will be retained and may be sold at a later date to raise additional funding for the Charity as required. The proceeds of the issue will be used by the Charity to further its charitable objectives, including the re-financing of a previous loan from RCB and the acquisition and/or adaptation of housing for people with one or more learning disabilities.
This will be the eleventh successful series of bonds to be issued through the RCB platform since it was launched in 2014, taking the total issued through the platform to date to over £320 million. It is also the first issue of social bonds by RCB, in accordance with its recently launched sustainability bond framework, under which RCB may issue either social, green or sustainable bonds, with a second-party opinion on the framework given by Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC.
This will be the third occasion that RCB has successfully launched a bond offer for the Charity, following the issue of £11 million 4.375% bonds in 2014, and £18 million 3.9% bonds in 2017 (including £8 million of retained bonds which were all subsequently sold).
Commenting on the success of the offer, John Verge, Chief Executive of Golden Lane Housing, said: “The significant appetite for these bonds is a great result for Golden Lane Housing, and highlights the strong recognition by the investor community as to our business case, which is based around providing quality homes to people with learning disabilities in the UK. The funds raised will enable us to continue to address the enormous housing challenges faced by people with a learning disability, so that they can prosper, develop their independence and skills and contribute to their communities.”
- Adrian Bell, CEO of Allia C&C, added: “The importance of investing responsibly is rapidly climbing investors’ agendas, particularly as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, with investors showing an increasing desire to support resilient businesses that create a positive social impact. The offer of social bonds for Golden Lane Housing received exceptionally strong demand, with the lowest coupon achieved through RCB to date, making the platform a very effective funding opportunity for borrowers with a strong social purpose.”