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A&O acts on groundbreaking Social deal

A&O acts on groundbreaking Social deal

Allen & Overy has advised on the first-ever issuance of social benefit bonds in Australia.

Firm: Allen & Overy (Social Ventures Australia)

Deal: Australia’s first-ever foray into social benefit bonds: Social Ventures Australia’s $7 million social benefit bond issuance for the funding of the UnitingCare Burnside Newpin Program

Area: Project finance

Value: $7 million

Key players: The Allen & Overy team acting on the social benefit bond issuance was led by Sydney-based partner Adam Stapledon (pictured), with support from Sydney-based senior associate James Abbott and associate Andrew Daidone

Deal significance: The UnitingCare Burnside Newpin Program works with Australian children living in foster care to return them safely to their families. The social benefit bonds were issued to a combination of high-net worth and institutional investors. The minimum investment in the bond was $50,000 and it has an investment return target of 10 to 12 per cent per annum depending on the number of successful restorations of children from foster care. The transaction marks Australia’s first-ever foray into social benefit bonds, which were pioneered in the UK, where investors fund the delivery of services that seek to increase social outcomes.

Adam Stapledon said of the transaction: “We are delighted to have assisted Social Ventures Australia on this innovative transaction. We have worked closely with Social Ventures Australia since Allen & Overy’s establishment in Australia and it is rewarding to have applied global best practice commercial techniques with a view to achieving an improvement in the lives of children in foster care.”

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