Assured Guaranty UK Limited (AGUK)* announced that it has guaranteed principal and interest payments on £113 million of bonds issued by ULiving@Essex3 LLP. The bond issuance will finance the construction of new student accommodation at the University of Essex (the University).
The 45-year bonds were sold to UK investors and distributed in two tranches of fixed and index-linked debt, and reached financial close on 17 August 2021, taking advantage of low, long-term rates. The bonds are expected to be rated AA by S&P Global Ratings by virtue of the guarantee from AGUK.
The bonds will finance the design, build and operation of 1,262 bed spaces in five new accommodation blocks at the University’s Colchester campus. The new accommodation will add to the University’s existing portfolio by increasing the number and mix of en-suite rooms as well as creating a small number of studios, and in general will enhance the on-campus accommodation offering to students. The transaction represents the third successful student accommodation financing guaranteed by AGUK for the University of Essex.
The construction works will be carried out by Bouygues (U.K.) Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bouygues Construction S.A., with hard and soft facility management services provided by Bouygues E&S Solutions Limited, also a wholly-owned UK subsidiary of Bouygues Construction S.A. The shareholders of the project are Equitix and Bouygues.
Dominic Nathan, Managing Director, AGUK, commented:
"We are delighted to have closed a third student accommodation financing with the University of Essex, demonstrating the value of our wrapped financing solution in providing an efficient form of financing for projects of this type. Despite challenging market conditions generally and unprecedented overall public health and economic circumstances, our collaborative approach with the University and sponsors, along with investor demand for AGUK wrapped debt, has resulted in a successful deal for the University. We believe investors, whether direct lenders or bond purchasers, value the high rating and associated low capital charges our guarantee adds to long-term financings, along with the efficient asset-liability matching this type of investment can provide.”
AGUK guarantees timely payment of scheduled principal and interest to holders of debt instruments throughout the life of the debt, in accordance with the terms of its financial guarantees.
The advisers of AGUK on the deal were Norton Rose Fulbright LLP (legal adviser), AECOM (technical adviser), Cushman & Wakefield (demand adviser) and Marsh (insurance adviser).
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. The Securities are only intended to be held by investors who are particularly knowledgeable in investment matters.
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.
* AGUK (company number 2510099) is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. AGUK provides its financial guarantee together with a co-guarantee from its affiliate Assured Guaranty Municipal Corp. (AGM). Both AGUK and AGM are subsidiaries of Assured Guaranty Ltd. (AGL and, together with its subsidiaries, Assured Guaranty). Through its subsidiaries, Assured Guaranty provides credit enhancement products to the U.S. and international public finance, infrastructure and structured finance markets, and also provides asset management services. 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 business strategies; the demand for Assured Guaranty’s financial guarantees; the development, course and duration of the COVID-19 pandemic and the governmental and private actions taken in response, the effectiveness, acceptance and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, and the global consequences of the pandemic and such actions; those risks and uncertainties resulting from changes in rating agency models or opinions; adverse credit developments related to Puerto Rico or other portions of 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 17 August 2021. 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.