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Trowers & Hamlins has advised Sovereign Housing Association Limited (trading as Sovereign Network Group) ("SNG") on its first public bond issue since the merger of Sovereign Housing Association with Network Homes. £400m of secured sustainability bonds were issued by SNG's treasury vehicle Sovereign Housing Capital plc.

The bond received significant investor interest and was nearly four times oversubscribed. It has a 33-year maturity, marking the first long-dated bond issued in the sector since November 2022 and the longest dated Sterling transaction since July 2021. The bond was priced at G+108 bps, one of the tightest spreads recently achieved in the sector.  

In October 2023 Sovereign Housing Association and fellow housing provider, Network Homes, merged to become SNG (Sovereign Network Group), with the new organisation focusing on investing in building more new homes, maintaining existing homes and providing services to customers. The firm's portfolio comprises over 60,000 homes in the UK's South, South West and the Isle of Wight, with 84,000 properties in total across SNG with the addition of homes in London and Hertfordshire following the merger.

The funding, raised under SNG’s Sustainable finance framework, will support SNG's strategic aim to build 25,000 homes over the next ten years, at a time when new affordable homes are critically needed. 

Trowers' Banking & Finance team advised SNG on all aspects of the issue, while the Real Estate Finance security team assisted on the security.

Graeme Gilbert, Treasury Director said: 

"We were delighted with the response and outcome for SNG’s £400m Sustainable public bond issuance, which will support our ambition to build 25,000 new homes over the next ten years. We were well supported by the Trowers team across legal documentation and security charging, ensuring a smooth process through to completion."

Rishi Sarin, Senior Associate, led the advice on the admission particulars and transaction documents for SNG and commented: 

"Having advised on the completion of SNG's merger last year, we are delighted to have assisted SNG with their first post-merger bond issue, working closely with their treasury and governance teams to support the group's long term strategic aims."

The Trowers team also included Senior Associate Sarah Cross, Associate William Sargeant, and Associate Robyn Asbury, overseen by Partners Eleanor James and Hannah Jackson.