S&P's assigns rating to bonds for Brunswick housing

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S&P's assigns rating to bonds for Brunswick housing

A standard purpose vehicle (SPV) led by Equitix is planning to issue £73.5 (US$101 million) million of senior secured fixed-rate bonds to finance Brunswick public housing  PFI project in central Manchester

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said that it assigned its preliminary Standard & Poor's underlying rating of 'BBB- to 'S4B PLC's £73.5 (US$101 million) million senior secured fixed-rate bonds due 2038. The outlook on the Standard & Poor's underlying rating is stable.

U.K.-based special-purpose entity S4B PLC, which is composed of Equitix Housing 2 Ltd. (77.5%), Contour Homes Ltd. (15%) and Galliford Try Investments Ltd. (7.5%), intends to issue £73.5 (US$101 million) million of senior secured fixed-rate bonds due 2038 and on-lend the proceeds to S4B Ltd.(ProjectCo).

The SPV plans to use the proceeds of the senior secured bonds to regenerate the Brunswick public housing estate in central Manchester. The entity will enter into an availability-based private finance initiative concession with the awarding authority, Manchester City Council .

The concession will run for 25 years, with operational responsibility from day one, and construction work planned during the first five years. Standard & Poor's forecasts the bonds to fully amortize over 24 years, with repayments in the form of unitary payments from Manchester City Council.

The project includes partial demolition and new construction as well as refurbishment of existing housing, relocation of existing retail shops, and the construction of an extended care facility. The SPV will also be responsible for operating the project during and after the construction period.

The estate currently comprises 1,135 housing units, of which 902 are Housing Revenue Account  related, and 233 are leasehold or privately owned. At the conclusion of construction, the Brunswick estate will contain 1,361 housing units, with 854 HRA and 508 private.

Construction will be performed by Mears Ltd. and Galliford Try Construction, with facilities management  services provided by Mears, and housing management by Contour Homes Ltd.

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