by Richard Buckley, Editor, Business Eye

Radius Housing has announced a new £105m investment from a range of UK and North American investors. This is the first such investment, known as a private placement, to be secured by a Northern Ireland housing association and will play a significant role in Radius’ plans to build new social and affordable housing across Northern Ireland.

Radius Housing is a leading housing association which manages more than 13,000 homes in Northern Ireland and constructs more than 400 new social and affordable homes every year. This £105m investment gives Radius the financial power to continue and expand their development programme. Private placement is a means of raising finance via investors with long term repayments, and the transaction is expected to provide funds in 2020, subject to satisfactory completion of due diligence.

The announcement of this investment comes after Radius visited London and North America in September where they presented their development plans to a range of investors. In July Radius was graded ‘A1 Stable’ by Moody’s, the international credit ratings agency – the highest rating given by Moody’s for any housing association in the UK. This rating allowed Radius to engage with more than 20 potential investors from the UK and USA.

John McLean, Chief Executive of Radius Housing, said “We are delighted by the confidence shown by international investors in Radius Housing’s development ambitions and the strength of our governance. North American and UK investors responded positively to our vision and plans for growth through the construction of new social and affordable housing across Northern Ireland. There was a recognition that the social housing sector has consistently delivered against targets and that we operate in an effective regulatory environment. Crucially, they saw that, as an industry leader, Radius is best placed to grow further.”

“Having secured this investment of £105m of private finance, Radius is now in a strong position to develop even more new social housing projects in areas of high need right across Northern Ireland. This investment will also be a welcome boost for the local construction sector at a time when we there is considerable uncertainty. Social housing construction is one of the most important aspects of the construction sector, and we now plan to build on our initial target of constructing 400 new homes each year.”

Alan Thomson, Director of Finance at Radius Housing, added “Choosing to seek investors through private placement has given Radius a opportunity to secure a deal which supports our development goals by giving a longer repayment term at very competitive rates.  Securing a Moody’s rating was particularly important given this was Northern Ireland’s first social housing placement. With the support of Barclays and our treasury advisers JCRA, we were able to articulate the strengths of Radius and the local social housing sector. While the social housing sector is looking at how it can secure finance to meet development needs, Radius is the first social housing provider to seek funding through private placement of this magnitude.”

Alex Morgan, Director at JCRA, who advised on the placement, commented “We were delighted to support Radius in achieving this fantastic outcome, which not only opens doors for the business, but also paves the way for other associations in Northern Ireland. We have worked closely with the finance team over the last few years to develop a strategy that unlocks the significant funding capacity of the business and ultimately supports the delivery of more affordable homes across Northern Ireland. We were p

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Joanna McArdle, Barclays Relationship Director, John McLean. Chief Executive, Radius Housing, Adrian Doran, Barclays Head of Corporate Banking, Anita Conway, Radius Director of Development & Alan Thomson, Radius Director of Finance


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