PIC invests £100m in social housing development

Pension Insurance Corporation plc (PIC) has completed a £100m debt investment with Apex Housing Association (Apex), in its first social housing investment in Northern Ireland.

The investment will go towards the development of around 1,500 new homes as part of Apex’s long-term strategy, with a focus on developing general needs family accommodation, as well as to refinance existing debt.

The transaction uses a deferred drawdown structure, with £60m initial funding and £40m deferred for one to two years, to meet Apex’s development plans.

The debt is due to mature in 2041 and 2055 respectively to match PIC’s pension commitments in those years.

TradeRisks, part of the Gresham House Group, acted as sole arranger and dealer for the transaction.

The new homes will be built to “very high environmental standards”, including additional energy-efficiency measures like solar panels and batteries.

Apex finance director, Roderick Canning, commented: “We are delighted to have secured this transaction with PIC to support our development programme over the coming years.

“This investment will continue to support our growth strategy of providing high quality affordable housing to those in need across Northern Ireland.

“We look forward to strengthening our relationship with PIC and other investors so we may continue to provide cost effective services for our tenants and service users”.

PIC debt organisation manager, Eugenia Korobova, added: “We are very pleased to have worked with Apex Housing Association on this transaction, which is our first housing association investment in Northern Ireland.

“The investment provides an attractive risk profile in an area of high demand for social housing.

“In addition, the maturity profile is well-suited to our liabilities.

“The team at Apex impressed us with their expertise, knowledge and strong governance and we are delighted to continue our commitment to supporting social and affordable housing.”

TradeRisks head of capital markets, Antoine Pesenti, commented “We are pleased to have supported Apex Housing Association on this private placement, which will allow Apex to continue to develop affordable homes across Northern Ireland.

“The fundraising attracted significant interest from lenders, and we continue to see strong investor appetite for housing associations”.

To date, PIC has invested over £2bn in social housing across the UK and Apex currently manages over 7,000 homes in Northern Ireland.

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