1st Jun

Belong 4.5% 2026 Retail Charity Bond closes early at top end of expectation following strong demand

Lead Manager Peel Hunt has announced that it has closed the book on Belong Ltd 4.5% 2026 Retail Charity Bond almost two weeks early following strong demand that saw it attract £50m in total.

As announced by Retail Bond Expert and on DIYInvestor the bond was launched on 23rd May offering an annual coupon of 4.5% until maturity in 2026.

The rate will be payable twice a year in June and December – with the first coupon payment being made this December.

Issued on the special purpose vehicle created and managed by Allia, the bonds are expected to trade on the London Stock Exchange from 21st June.

Retail Charity Bonds connect charitable organisations seeking unsecured loan finance with investors looking for fixed income bonds listed on the London Stock Exchange’s Order book for Retail Bonds (ORB)

Proceeds from the bond sale will be loaned to Belong Ltd and used to develop additional Belong villages, which provide accommodation, care, support and associated facilities, amenities and services to those who need them.

Currently the charity operates seven Belong villages across the UK; its most recent village was opened in Newcastle-under-Lyme in April 2018, providing a home for over 530 residents in the North West of England.

Belong will borrow £35m initially when the bonds are issued on 20th June, with a further £15m of ‘retained bonds’ being created which can be sold and the extra money loaned to Belong to meet future funding requirements.

Two more sites in Chester and Birkdale have also been acquired, with planning permissions secured and development is expected to start on these in 2018.

Tracey Stakes, chief executive of Belong, said: ‘Belong villages offer a pioneering approach to later-life care that’s led by an individual’s needs rather than an institutions’ restrictions.

As the number of people in the UK living with dementia continues to increase, so too does the demand for innovative solutions to where they can live and be cared for in a safe community environment. We’re therefore delighted to see such strong support for Belong’s business model, with the success of the bond enabling us to welcome a greater number of older people into more of our villages.’

The Belong Ltd bond is the eighth and one of the largest bonds to be issued through Allia’s Retail Charity Bonds platform since it was launched in 2014; it follows previous issues for Golden Lane Housing, Hightown Housing Association, Charities Aid Foundation, Greensleeves Homes Trust and Dolphin Living, and takes the total raised through the platform to date to £192.5m.

In total the bonds have raised more than £150m since 2014; they have been popular with retail investors seeking income and especially those with a strong ethical focus.  

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