30 March 2021
Anchor Hanover announces new landmark £300m sustainable and unsecured refinancing
Anchor Hanover Group, England’s largest not-for-profit provider of housing and care for older people, has completed an innovative refinancing of its bank debt which sets two new benchmarks for the housing association sector. As part of its refinancing, Anchor Hanover has secured a long term A+ credit rating from S&P Global Ratings, one of the highest in the housing sector.
Anchor Hanover, which offers retirement properties and specialist care homes to over 65,000 people in later life at almost 1,700 locations across England, is rebalancing its portfolio focused more on financially benefiting from long-term stability from debt capital markets (DCM) that will underpin its ambitious growth plans.
At the forefront of Anchor Hanover’s restructured portfolio is a new £300m unsecured syndicated Sustainability Linked Revolving Credit Facility (RCF). In addition to establishing the first syndicated Sustainability Linked Loan in the sector, Anchor Hanover becomes the first housing association to move its banking facilities to a fully unsecured basis.
The banks providing the RCF are Barclays, MUFG , National Australia Bank and Santander UK, with Barclays acting as Global coordinator and National Australia Bank acting as Sustainability Coordinator.
Anchor Hanover employs more than 9,000 people and in addition to the retirement housing operates 114 care homes in England. The organisation’s strong commitment to environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance is demonstrated by the fact that the banking facility will be structured as a Sustainability Linked Loan. Centrus acted as sole financial advisor to Anchor Hanover, supporting the development of the refinancing strategy as well as its structuring and implementation.
DNV GL has issued a second party opinion confirming the alignment of the facility with the LMA Sustainability Linked Loan Principles.
Sarah Jones, Chief Financial Officer, Anchor Hanover:
We are delighted to have agreed the first sustainability linked unsecured banking portfolio in the sector, with current and new bank partners. This refinancing represents excellent value for Anchor Hanover and will underpin our strategy to provide more and better homes, to offer more opportunities for colleagues, to be more efficient, and to be a more influential voice for people in later life. The ESG component underlines our commitment to sustainability for our current and future residents, colleagues, and the communities in which they live.
Phil Jenkins, Managing Director, Centrus Financial:
Centrus is committed to finance with purpose. Therefore, we are thrilled to have worked with Anchor Hanover on this innovative refinancing which is designed to meet Anchor Hanover’s ambitious growth plans in providing housing and care services to older people. In establishing the first fully unsecured banking portfolio in the sector, Anchor Hanover will benefit from strengthened liquidity, improved asset efficiency and reduced operational risk.
Additionally, we are delighted to have structured the refinancing for Anchor Hanover in ways which reinforces our commitment to sustainability and ESG.