Stirling University in £50m Barclays placement

Barclays has arranged a £50 million private placement for the University of Stirling via a sale of unlisted, private securities to institutional investors.

The funding for the university will refinance existing bank debt and provide funds for general corporate development.

As sole placement agent, Barclays said it secured the funding via two blue chip institutional investors.

It is the first private placement Barclays has transacted in the Scottish higher education sector and the university is one of only two in Scotland to take this approach.

Liam McCabe, director of finance, University of Stirling said: “This significant deal — on very competitive terms — aligns long term borrowing with the assets it is funding, a mechanism not available from traditional lenders.

“The placement, a consortium of UK and US investors, reflects confidence in both the University of Stirling’s financial health and long term strategy.

“Barclays were the natural choice of partner to secure this deal due to our long-standing relationship with them and their expertise in the UK higher education sector.”

Ally Scott, managing director, Barclays Corporate Banking, Scotland said: “We were mandated as sole placement agents by the University and the transaction was extremely well received by the market.

“While we have successfully acted as placement agent for several Scottish corporates in other sectors, few higher education establishments are currently using this structure in Scotland, notwithstanding that it actually offers a very stable long term debt arrangement, releasing substantial capital on favourable terms.

“Our specialist education and private placement teams have delivered and executed eight private placements for educational institutions across the UK over the past 12 months, signalling its growing popularity as a funding solution and our expertise in securing positive returns.”

Barclays said it is the leading placement agent for UK higher education issuers, accounting for 52% of the total private placement issuance volume from the sector since 2012.

The latest placement has allowed the University of Stirling to access capital markets to raise long-term funding at fixed rates and across staggered maturities.

The deal was led by Barclays’ public sector relationship director David Bolton, managing director and head of private placements Akshay Shah, and Tarun Sakhrani, vice president of private capital markets.