Mills & Reeve advises on the lowest interest bearing bond issue ever for a UK university

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Mills & Reeve, regarded as an expert in alternative sources of financing for not-for-profit institutions, has advised Cardiff University on the launch of a £300 million public bond issue.

The net proceeds of the bond issue, the first capital markets fundraising undertaken by a Welsh university, will help support the university’s ambitious innovation campus and other general corporate purposes, including investment in research, teaching and student facilities. 

Sarah Seed, banking partner and higher education finance specialist at Mills & Reeve, commented: “We are delighted to have advised Cardiff University on what is an historic step for them. We were able to use our market leading knowledge of the higher education sector together with our significant capital markets expertise to coordinate and assist the university throughout the process.” 

Mike Davies, director of finance at the university, added: “We turned to Mills & Reeve to assist us with this project due to their significant expertise in the education sector generally and their previous experience of advising universities seeking to access the capital markets. We are delighted with the success of this issue and the support shown by investors.” 

Mills & Reeve previously advised the University of Cambridge and the University of Manchester on major public bond issues, and last year advised Royal Holloway, University of London and Oxford Brookes University on substantial private placements. 

The Mills & Reeve team was led by banking partner Sarah Seed with additional support from associates Matthew Howling, Poppy Short and Alex Pickett. Mills & Reeve acts for over 120 universities, colleges and education bodies. 

NM Rothschild & Sons acted as financial adviser to the university and the joint lead managers to the bond issue were HSBC, Morgan Stanley and Lloyds. Clifford Chance acted as legal adviser to the joint lead managers. 

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