EY advises University of Bristol on multimillion debt financing transaction

London, 26 May 2017

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EY has advised The University of Bristol on debt financing options and the subsequent execution of its three part simultaneous transaction for £525 million of debt financing to support its Estates Strategy.

The transaction included issuing a debut private placement of £200 million of unsecured 30, 35 and 40 year notes placed bilaterally at a coupon range of 2.58-2.60% - one of the lowest achieved in the market, alongside an amended and increased revolving credit facility and amending £250 million of other long term existing bilateral loans. The University of Bristol’s Estates Strategy will deliver projects including a new University Library, the redevelopment at Tyndall Pace and a new campus at Temple Quarter.

By drawing on EY’s experience of advising Higher Education institutions on their financing needs, specialist hedging advisory capabilities and market insight, the University was able to arrange the private placement issuance itself. This provided for a cost effective and efficient process that ensured the target new debt amount of £200 million was achieved, with a single investor participating. Ultimately, this enabled the University to achieve a competitive cost of funds to underpin its long term strategy, alongside the amended existing debt facilities.

Luke Reeve, Partner in EY’s Capital & Debt Advisory team, said: “We were delighted to be appointed to work with the University of Bristol on this complex financing process. The successful execution of the parallel financings ensures that the funding is now in place to grow the estate and maintain its position as a world renowned University. It has been our pleasure to work with the University’s team and the Board of Trustees. The competitive terms achieved, alongside market leading pricing, is testament to the strength and quality of the University’s covenant. The amendment of the existing debt facilities also reflected the depth of the relationship and support from existing lenders.

“This transaction is an example of the growing appetite and need for institutions of this kind to access the debt capital markets to meet their capital investment programmes and secure their long term future. With the right independent advice and support, universities can deliver for themselves highly successful debt issuance strategies on a cost efficient basis from across the debt markets.”

Robert Kerse, Chief Financial Officer at the University, said: “The quality of advice and level of service received from the EY Capital & Debt Advisory Team was first class. The team provided robust challenge and well researched and reasoned analysis and advice. The work that the EY team undertook with the University’s Finance Committee and Board was particularly valuable in ensuring that informed and robust decisions were made. The financing terms that EY helped the University to achieve have delivered significant long term value to the University. EY’s service was extremely responsive and they demonstrated real dedication to assisting the University to deliver its financing plans.”