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Top 40 law firm Trowers & Hamlins were delighted to act for bLEND Funding Plc, the new capital markets aggregator set up by The Housing Finance Corporation (THFC), on the establishment of its £2bn medium term note (MTN) programme and subsequently on its inaugural £250m issue of notes and the on-lending of the proceeds to three housing associations.

Trowers provided legal advice to THFC on all aspects of the establishment of bLEND as a new vehicle within the THFC group.

bLEND uses Moody’s universal credit agency rating methodology to arrive at a group rating. This methodology means that borrowers do not need a public rating to take part in bLEND, but they do need to undergo a private rating assessment process. bLEND’s group rating then reflects the weighted average of all the participants.  A term of its MTN programme is that the addition of a borrower cannot adversely impact the (then) rating of the outstanding bonds.

Partner Naomi Roper, who led the Trowers team on the deal said:

"We are delighted to have worked with Moody's on this project with bLEND. It's exciting to have an innovative aggregator bringing a brand new funding stream to the sector."

Fenella Edge of bLEND funding added:

"We knew that establishing a new lending programme would bring challenges and we chose partners with whom we had a long standing relationship to help us overcome those challenges. Trowers and Hamlins expertise and experience in funding transactions for the social housing sector, combined with their track record and deep understanding of the THFC business model made them an excellent choice."

Partners Ian Dobinson and Naomi Roper headed up the team which also included Dale Moulden, Katie Dyer and Yvonne Mao.