London – LAWFUEL – The Law Firm Newswire – DLA Piper has advised the…

London – LAWFUEL – The Law Firm Newswire – DLA Piper has advised the Nationwide Building Society on their provision of £25m senior debt and a £3m equity bridge to the consortium backing the fastest ever housing PFI project to close, worth £73 million. The Stanhope PFI project will see the replacement of seven blocks of flats from the 1960s with 442 new affordable homes for rent, shared ownership or sale on the open market, together with the construction of a new community centre and retail units on the Stanhope estate.

Financial close of the Stanhope PFI project was achieved in just 20 months. It is the fifth UK social housing PFI that DLA Piper has closed, with seven further projects ongoing. Previous social housing PFI’s have included: Manchester Grove Village, Leeds Swarcliffe, Croydon Care Homes and Oldham Retirement Housing Partnership.

Alex Guy, head of social housing at DLA Piper said: “We are proud to be part of the team helping to transform Stanhope from an estate stigmatised as a run down area with anti-social behaviour issues, into a safe, secure and thriving environment with a better mix of housing, which meets the aspirations of residents. This was a complex deal, which required innovative thinking in structuring the interrelationship between the on and off balance sheet elements of the project to enable them to be financed in the most efficient way. We are pleased to have been able to close the deal in what is a very short time period, relative to other deals in the market.”

Banking Partner, Nick Iliff, Associates Mark Northey and Andy Holmes; Solicitors Catherine Goode, Laura Barnfield and Philip Hecht and Andy Gilchrist, a trainee solicitor, were all part of the team that advised the building society.

The consortium backing the Stanhope PFI project, Chrysalis, consisted of Nationwide, Gleeson Regeneration, Moat Housing Group and Denne Construction.