Pioneering impact finance for the care sector
Greensleeves Care is a growing charity that provides care for older people in its residential, dementia and nursing homes across England. In March 2017, it became the first care organisation to raise finance through a RCB – with the offer raising £33 million in just one week, along with £17 million of retained bonds available for the future.
Paul Newman, Chief Executive of Greensleeves Care, said: “We are always looking to reach more people with our high-quality care. In the past, we have had to choose from limited available finance options, and then manage several different loans each with their own costs and covenants. This made financial planning harder as some of the debt was variable.”
Allia designed RCBs to make it easier and more affordable for charitable organisations to raise simple finance through bonds listed on London Stock Exchange. In connecting with a range of individual and institutional investors, a bond allows borrowers to access medium-term loan finance with light covenants and fixed costs. Investors don’t require security either, allowing control of the charity’s assets to remain with its own board.
“There were several reasons why a RCB was right for us” Paul explained. “The bond was a great opportunity to consolidate our multiple loans under one simple set of covenants. As we want to continue to grow, the fixed rate gave us the freedom to plan into the future. And also, the bond requires only one simple repayment at the end of the fixed term, rather than repaying capital and interest together as banks require, so it improves our cashflow.”
High demand for impact investments
The RCB for Greensleeves Care offered investors an interest rate of 4.25% for a term of 9 years. Following extensive publicity around the launch, the offer closed early and oversubscribed after just one week, with around 70% of the funds being subscribed by or on behalf of individual investors.
The bond is the fourth to be issued through Allia’s RCB platform, following previous successful issues for Charities Aid Foundation (£20m), Hightown Housing Association (£27m) and Golden Lane Housing (£11m).
“We are delighted to have been part of the largest RCB issue. The money will be put to immediate use to buy and develop new homes and sites, and redevelop existing homes – improving the quality of care for our residents.” said Paul.
“We believe the bond issue provides us with an excellent platform for long term growth, and estimate that it will save us around £1 million in interest payments to the bank over the life of the bond.” Paul Newman, Chief Executive, Greensleeves Care
On the sale of their retained bonds in 2019, Chris Doherty, Finance Director, said: “The use of retained bonds has allowed Greensleeves to raise the extra funding required by the business in a quick and efficient manner – without the requirement for security or protracted negotiations on a new loan agreement. It undoubtedly adds to the attractions of using RCB as a funding vehicle for the business.”
KEY FACTS: GREENSLEEVES CARE
- Established in 1997 when the Women’s Royal Voluntary Service transferred care home ownership to an independent organisation
- 24 residential, dementia and nursing homes across England
- 971 residents
- 75% privately funded residents, 25% publicly funded
- Not-for-profit: all funds are reinvested in the organisation
(Details correct as at November 2018)
KEY FACTS: THE BOND
- £50 million of bonds created
- £33 million bonds issued
- £17 million of retained bonds went on the be sold in 2019
- 4.25% per annum interest
- Term of 9 years
- Offer closed after just one week
- Funds will be used to increase the number of residents it supports through buying and developing new homes, as well as refinancing all existing debt