Wednesday, March 16, 2022

News: Harworth nets financial backing to double size of business


Harworth Group plc, the Rotherham-based leading regenerator of land and property for sustainable development and investment, has agreed a new senior debt package to back its strategy to double the size of its business over the next five to seven years.

Listed on the London Stock Exchange, Harworth is based close to its flagship Waverley development and is a specialist in brownfield regeneration and has a £250m income-producing portfolio across the UK.

The package comprises a five-year £200m revolving credit facility (RCF) together with a £40m uncommitted accordion option, provided by Natwest, Santander and HSBC. It replaces Harworth's previous RCF with Natwest and Santander, which was increased from £130 million to £150 million in 2021, and had an expiry date of February 2024.

Harworth, which was created through the complex restructure of what was UK Coal, siad that the new RCF is aligned to its "strategy to double the size of its business over the next five to seven years and provides significant additional liquidity and flexibility."

As at 31 December 2021, the company's net debt was £25.7m.

Harworth's focus has been on the "beds and sheds" sectors where demand remains strong. It owns, develops and manages a portfolio of over 15,000 acres of land on around 100 sites located throughout the North of England and Midlands. The Group specialises in the regeneration of large, complex sites, in particular former industrial sites, into new residential and industrial and logistics developments.

Income is derived from land sales having undertaken masterplanning and securing planning consent for a number of schemes. Land acquisition, building out new developments and asset management make up the rest of the business.

The company intends to deploy both proceeds from sales and the funds provided by its new debt facilities to deliver the 3.2 million sq. ft first phase of direct development that it has identified within its consented industrial and logistics pipeline; broaden the range of residential products across its development sites, including the launch of a 600-unit single-family rental product in 2022; and scale up its land acquisition and promotion activities.

Lynda Shillaw, Chief Executive at Harworth, said: "Harworth's strong balance sheet and prudent gearing is one of the key enablers of our ambitious growth strategy. This new debt package, which adds another established institutional lender to our banking group, will provide Harworth with additional firepower and flexibility as we step into this strategy and deliver our Purpose of creating places where people want to live and work. I would like to thank Natwest and Santander for their continued support, and to welcome HSBC."

Harworth Group website



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