Housing firm Urban Exposure builds up to £165m float, the largest IPO on London's junior market so far this year

 
Lucy White
Urban Exposure recently helped finance this development in London's Deptford
Urban Exposure recently helped finance this development in London's Deptford (Source: Urban Exposure)

Urban Exposure, a firm which provides loans to housebuilders across the UK, has launched its float on the public markets today.

The business is aiming to raise £150m, giving it a market value of £165m on admission to London's junior market Aim, and will be the largest initial public offering (IPO) on Aim so far this year in terms of money raised.

Urban Exposure will place 150m shares at £1 each, and big-name institutions such as Standard Life Aberdeen, Blackrock and Invesco are understood to be investing through the float.

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"The Urban Exposure team has a strong track record of delivering funding to developers of a broad range of housing projects around the UK," said Randeesh Sandhu, Urban Exposure's chief executive.

"The UK faces a chronic housing shortage, with only 138,650 homes currently built each year, far below the government's 300,000 target. Meeting this shortfall will require an estimated £208bn of additional funding over the next 10 years and Urban Exposure is well placed to help meet this demand."

The business also aims to align itself with government policy, focusing particularly on developers working on projects such as affordable housing.

It has already arranged loans with a gross development value of £1.9bn since 2010, which have generated a return of 21 per cent.

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As well as lending directly to developers, Urban Exposure will also develop a loan asset management business which manages loans from third parties such as institutional investors and debt funds.

The business, founded by Sandhu who is a former Deutsche Bank risk analyst, shelved plans for a £500m float in 2014.

Sandhu hopes that his business will become a go-to lender for smaller housing developers, plugging the gap left by banks since the financial crisis.

Liberum acted as broker for the deal.

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