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Delancey’s Alpha Plus issues £80m of retail bonds

It was the company’s second retail bond; the first, which is also secured on school buildings, mostly in central London, has traded consistently at a premium to its 5.75% issue price since it listed on ORB in December 2012.

Alpha Plus Group, the UK private schools business advised by Delancey, has issued £80 million of bonds to retail investors.

The provider of private education becomes the first company to issue a retail bond backed by property for more than two and half years. The new bonds pay a coupon of 5 percent.

The eight-year, secured debt, which will list on the London Stock Exchange’s Order Book for Retail Bonds (ORB), was seen as a test of market appetite for a property issue.

But it was the company’s second retail bond; the first, which is also secured on school buildings, mostly in central London, has traded consistently at a premium to its 5.75% issue price since it listed on ORB in December 2012.

Julian Drinkall, Alpha Plus’s chief executive officer, said: “We are extremely pleased with the market demand for Alpha Plus’s second retail bond, fully supporting our increased offer. We would like to thank our new bondholders for their participation which will provide us with finance to support our on-going business and investment opportunities.”

Eight mid-sized property companies accessed the market between July 2012, when Primary Health Properties raised £75 million, and an issue by Bruntwood in July 2013. The others were: CLS Holdings, Helical Bar, St Modwen Properties, Unite Group and Workspace Group.

Alpha Plus is owned by DV4 Ltd which is advised by Delancey, the property investor headed by Jamie Ritlbat. Alpha owns and operates 18 private schools, nurseries and colleges on a mix of freehold and leasehold tenures, valued on the basis of current use at £240 million.

Canaccord Genuity and Peel Hunt were managers and advisers.

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