Centrus advises First Choice Housing on completion of £11.25m capital market fundraising

Transaction Overview

Cardiff based, First Choice is a prominent provider of specialist housing across Wales and Shropshire; a recognised expert in specialist, bespoke development of social housing to support people with disabilities, complex needs and veterans.

First Choice Housing Association has successfully completed a tap of GB Social Housing’s 2038 bond; receiving gross proceeds of £15.8m to support its key aim of improving quality of life through provision of quality, bespoke accommodation that enables tenants to achieve independence, fulfil their potential and optimise enjoyment of life.

Centrus Solution

Centrus worked with First Choice to identify a strategy to maximise debt capacity from existing unencumbered stock as well as utilising stock released with prepayment of the non-core lender. Owing to the specialist nature of First Choice’s stock, efficient use of existing security was a key priory.

First Choice’s portfolio has been materially simplified with a non-core lender refinanced while preserving the economic value, cost of funding reduced for another lender and new capital markets funding arranged through GB Social Housing following a procurement process.

Added Benefits

The treasury portfolio has been improved across key metrics with longevity and hedging ratio nearly doubling and introducing capital markets to further diversify funding sources.

First Choice have achieved excellent security efficiency, equivalent to 82% Asset Cover, allowing them to develop additional stock and further their objectives.

“Centrus were excellent partners to work with throughout the review of our Treasury Strategy. They worked together with our Board and the Exec team to fully understand our wider business, business plan as well as our borrowing requirements. Their strong market presence meant that the objectives set within the Treasury Strategy were either met or exceeded. We are delighted with the outcome look forward to delivering much needed specialist accommodation tenants as a result.”

Adrian Burke, Chief Executive – First Choice Housing Association

“First Choice is a great organisation doing vital work for individuals with specialist needs. Centrus was delighted to be engaged to develop and implement the treasury strategy, where all agreed objectives have either been met or exceeded. Successful delivery of the strategy means First Choice’s is better enabled to achieve its objectives and, importantly, to increase delivery of housing solutions for people with specialist needs”

Paul Stevens, Managing Director – Centrus

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