Centrus arranged £25m long term financing for Oxford’s St Anne’s College
The University of Oxford’s St Anne’s College has recently undergone £25m worth of long term financing, arranged by Centrus. With its origins dating from 1879, St Anne’s was incorporated by Royal Charter in 1952 and is now one of the largest mixed colleges amongst the University of Oxford’s 38 independent colleges with a total of approximately 800 undergraduates, graduates and visiting students.
During 2018 St Anne’s undertook some detailed financial analysis regarding the refurbishment of some of its student accommodation as well as investigating the options for a new development on the college’s site. A decision was taken by St Anne’s Governing Body in November 2018 to proceed with the new debt financing to be used partly to refinance existing bank debt and partly towards capital expenditure on the college’s site.
Having received several financing proposals, an institutional investor was selected which offered 40 year term debt. The financing was split into 2 tranches with £10m drawn down at closing, the proceeds of which being largely used to refinance existing debt. Settlement and draw down of the second tranche of £15m will be deferred for 3 years until March 2022. The proceeds of this tranche will be used towards the cost of new student accommodation on the college’s site.
John Ford, Treasurer of St Anne’s commented: We have ambitious plans to develop our site and provide new purpose built student accommodation. This financing provides us with the resources we need to realise our ambitions and we are delighted to have locked in long term debt finance at an attractive cost with draw down deferred until the funds are required. Centrus advised us throughout this project both with our financial modelling and forecasting as well as assisting us in negotiating very competitive terms for the financing.
Robert St John, Managing Director at Centrus commented: There was strong demand from the institutional market for the St Anne’s financing reflecting the quality of the college’s governance, management, track record and development plans. An unusual feature of this financing was the £15m deferred tranche which has allowed St Anne’s to lock in a very attractive fixed rate for the next 40 years but with settlement delayed until the new building development is underway.