John Laing fund spends £30.5m on social housing

JLIF, the London-listed investment vehicle sponsored by developer John Laing, has acquired stakes in three social housing PFI/PPP projects from United House Group, a specialist in the field.

John Laing Infrastructure Fund (JLIF), a listed UK investor in public-private partnerships (PPP) and Private Finance Initiative (PFI) schemes, has bought three stakes in London social housing projects from social housing specialist United House Group for £30.5 million (€36.7 million; $47.4 million).  

The acquired assets are: a 50 percent stake in Camden, a round 1 housing PFI pathfinder project; a 45 percent stake in Islington I, a refurbishment and 30-year management and maintenance contract for 2,348 properties; and a 45 percent stake in Islington II, a refurbishment and 16-year management and maintenance contract for 4,124 properties. 

In a statement, JLIF said the three projects are all availability-based with contracted, government-backed revenue streams linked to inflation, providing “low risk, stable income”. Two of the projects have been operational for more than three years and the other is 95 percent operational with the remainder due to be operational this month. 

The statement added that the assets have been valued using a discount rate in line with the valuation of similar assets already in the portfolio and “have a projected net return, in line with JLIF’s stated target”. 

“We are an experienced operator of social housing projects, and these three high quality projects, located in the heart of London’s prime real estate market, are operationally mature, with minimal retained risk and stable cash flows and match our appetite for low risk, high yielding assets,” said Andrew Charlesworth, JLIF investment adviser, in the statement. 

JLIF raised £131 million last October, bringing the total size of the fund to £428 million. The following month it spent £49 million on two transport assets and then a further £18 million on two school assets and a hospital asset.