Assured Guaranty (Europe) to Guarantee a Third Wrapped UK Infrastructure
Bond in 2013
£74m wrapped bond will finance a UK PFI social housing project in central
LONDON -- December 18, 2013
Assured Guaranty (Europe) Ltd. (Assured Guaranty)* announces that it will
guarantee a £73.5 million wrapped bond, issued by S4B (Issuer) PLC, to finance
the regeneration of the Brunswick public housing estate in central Manchester.
The publicly listed bond priced on 17 December 2013 at 4.926%, equivalent to a
spread of 190 basis points over Gilts. The bonds are to be rated AA- (stable)
and A2 (stable), with underlying project ratings of BBB-and Baa3, from S&P and
Moody's, respectively. Financial close is expected on Friday 20^th December
The consortium, appointed as Preferred Bidder by Manchester City Council, is
led by Equitix, the infrastructure equity fund, and includes Contour Homes
Ltd, and Galliford Try Construction Ltd with Lloyds Bank as the bond arranger.
Manchester will fund debt service based on housing availability and receive
related PFI credits from the UK government.
As a financial guarantor, Assured Guaranty will guarantee timely payment of
scheduled principal and interest to bondholders, throughout the 24-year life
of the bond.
Nick Proud, Chief Executive Officer of Assured Guaranty (Europe) Ltd.,
"This is the third infrastructure bond that Assured Guaranty will have
guaranteed in 2013, and it is continued evidence that Assured Guaranty’s bond
wrap provides a cost-effective alternative to other sources of debt funding
for infrastructure projects - not only for the City Council but also for the
infrastructure consortium and the taxpayer, while providing enhanced security
for bondholders. We are ready to work directly with other City Councils and
awarding authorities, up and down the UK, to guarantee a significant quantum
of infrastructure debt."
The regeneration project includes partial demolition, new construction and
refurbishment of existing homes on the Brunswick estate. At completion, the
estate will contain over 1,350 housing units, of which more than 850 will be
for social housing and more than 500 will be private, which includes over 300
units of new private-for-sale housing that are ring fenced from the PFI
transaction. This will create an improved community estate with predominately
family housing, together with new parks, play areas and retail space,
reinvigorating a community and economic hub close to the centre of Manchester.
*Assured Guaranty (Europe) Ltd. provides its financial guarantee together with
a co-guarantee from its affiliate Assured Guaranty Municipal Corp. (AGM).
Assured Guaranty Finance Overseas Ltd. (company number 4031467) (AGFOL), which
is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, has permission
to arrange contracts of insurance including financial guarantees for its
affiliate AGM. AGFOL has approved this press release.
Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements:
Any forward-looking statements made in this press release reflect the current
views of Assured Guaranty Ltd. (together with its subsidiaries, the Company)
with respect to future events and are made pursuant to the safe harbour
provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such
statements involve risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to
differ materially from those set forth in these statements. These risks and
uncertainties include, but are not limited to, those resulting from the
Company’s inability to execute its strategies; the demand for its financial
guarantees; further actions that the rating agencies may take with respect to
the Company’s financial strength ratings; adverse developments in the
Company’s guaranteed portfolio; the ability of the Company to negotiate
mutually satisfactory transaction terms with other transaction parties; and
other risks and uncertainties that have not been identified at this time,
management’s response to these factors, and other risk factors identified in
the Company’s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking
statements, which are made as of 18 December, 2013. The Company undertakes no
obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements,
whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as
required by law.
Through its subsidiaries, the Company is the leading provider of financial
guarantees for principal and interest payments due on municipal, public
infrastructure and structured financings. Its subsidiary AGM guarantees
international infrastructure and U.S. municipal bonds, and was previously
named Financial Security Assurance Inc. (FSA) before becoming an Assured
Guaranty company in July 2009. Assured Guaranty (Europe) Ltd., a subsidiary of
AGM, is the Company’s European operating platform.
Assured Guaranty (Europe) Ltd. (company number 2510099) is authorised by the
Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct
Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.
Assured Guaranty Ltd. is a publicly traded (NYSE: AGO), Bermuda-based holding
company. More information on the Company and its subsidiaries can be found at
Mark Lunn, +44 (0) 207 457 2020
Mobile: +44 (0)7775 992 309
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